It’s been a tumultuous week for the IEC, who saw the 2019 Elections marred by several hiccups at voting stations. Now, the Electoral Commission is having to deal with the mass walkout of 35 political parties on Friday.
During a meeting at the IEC’s result centre in Gauteng, it’s understood that an overwhelming majority of the “minor” parties – many of whom look set to miss out on a seat in Parliament – have labelled the 2019 vote as unfair.
Why are smaller parties complaining about the elections?
In what was to be a chaotic few minutes at “Election HQ”, small party leaders left a meeting where the Commission was ready to discuss what time their official results should be released. However, the minority groups felt like their concerns were not being heard.
Romeo Ramuada is the secretary-general of the South African Arts and Culture Youth Forum (SAACYF) – he vowed to force the IEC into an audit of the results, or they would soon face protests from a multitude of supporters.
“We are not going to be intimidated. We’re taking a position as an organisation that they must audit these results. We want all political parties to be part of this process.”
35 political parties want the IEC to bring in an independent audit of the voting process and results. If not, they are threatening to call on all their supporters to protest here at the National Results Centre. “We are not a bunch of stupids”. @eNCA #SAElectionResults
— Annika Larsen (@AnnikaLarsen1) May 10, 2019
“Voting systems flawed”, minor parties claim
Meanwhile, Front Nasionaale leader Daniel Lötter has taken aim at the vote-capture technology. According to the latest polls, his party sit on 5 816 votes – a number he strongly disputes:
“This isn’t for the sake of numbers or votes, but for the sake of moral decency. Something is seriously wrong when you can see your party got no votes in a certain region, yet you know that you personally have voted for them there. Parties are now getting fewer votes than they have active members – how is that possible?”
IEC face wrath of “the little guys”
Suspicions have been swirling for more than 48 hours now. Concerns about voter security dominated Wednesday’s events, as the indelible ink used to identify voters from non-voters failed to stay visible for some people. Issues with ID scanners also became prevalent, with some voters reporting their vote hadn’t been captured properly.
The total number of votes cast for these 35 minor parties so far comes in at around 250 000 – which equates to less than 2% of the national vote. Some of the parties included in the walkout have failed to garner even 3 000 votes. Their numbers may be small, but their calls for an audit are growing.