South Africa: Electoral Commission Opposes Legal Action Aimed At Interfering Conduct of Elections

press release

The Electoral Commission will vigorously oppose any legal action aimed at interfering in the conduct of elections and finalisation and announcement of results.

In response to a letter demanding that the Electoral Commission undertake an independent audit by an auditor of the parties choosing and a "rerun" of the elections, the Commission wrote to lawyers representing the parties advising that their demands were unreasonable and unlawful.

The Commission noted that only it was empowered by law to adjudicate on the outcome of elections, declare the outcome and announce results. Aggrieved parties had ample recourse to raise objections through the normal objection process and, if still unsatisfied, to appeal decisions of the Commission in court.

The law makes no provision for preemptive legal action to interdict the Commission from abiding by its Constitutional and legal mandate.

The Commission received 47 objections of which five were upheld and five were withdrawn by the objecting parties. Most of the objections did not meet the requirements of section 55 and lacked any evidence of irregularity.

The Commission is satisfied with the integrity of its systems. Additionally, the Commission has further instituted an independent technical assurance process involving a random sample of 1020 voting districts to be conducted by the Statistician-General and is awaiting the findings of this process.

Based on the findings and all other complaints and objections received, the Commission will make a decision on the outcome of the elections later today.

Issued by: Independent Electoral Commission

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