S. African Authorities Assure Nation Of Election Integrity

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The South African Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Thursday assured the nation of the overall integrity of the just-concluded national and provincial elections, in spite of two potential instances of double voting.

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela made the statement in Cape Town as initial results put the ruling African National Congress (ANC) well ahead of other parties.

“The IEC will not allow the potential misconduct of one or two individuals – be they voters or election officials – to taint the overall outcome of these elections.’’

Two separate instances have been brought to the attention of the IEC over the past few hours in which some voters allegedly were able to cast more than one vote at different voting stations, according to Bapela.

The commission views these allegations in the most serious light and has launched investigations into these incidents, said Bapela.

On Wednesday, South African voters headed to the polls to elect a new National Assembly and provincial legislatures in each province.

The elections will also determine, who will become the next president.
The election process contained a number of checks and safeguards which together served to protect the integrity of the process, Bapela said.

As part of the safeguards, party agents and observers monitored all aspects of the voting, counting and results capturing process, he said.

All of these leave a detailed footprint of voter participation in the process and can be used both separately and in combination to identify instances of electoral fraud, Bapela said.

Where evidence is found to support electoral fraud, the IEC will firstly quarantine the results of the affected voting districts and secondly will pursue criminal charges against the perpetrators, Bapela said.

He said the electoral process also allows for objections to be raised by political parties throughout the process.

This includes instances where they believe a voter was ineligible to vote or has voted more than once, Bapela said.

The IEC appeals to any party or person, who may have evidence of any electoral fraud or significant irregularity to report this immediately so that it can be thoroughly investigated, he said.

“The integrity of the results is paramount to the credibility of all elections and all election results are only finally captured and displayed in the results system where the commission is satisfied in the integrity of the results,” he said. (Xinhua/NAN)

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