IEC lauded for free and fair elections

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Former Statistician General Pali Lehohla has affirmed the integrity of the Electoral Commission (IEC), saying it did a fantastic job during the sixth National and Provincial Elections.

“One cannot doubt the integrity of the IEC, it has performed consistently and better with time. The voting process was fantastic, peaceful as usual, even the weather couldn’t stop people from voting,” Lehohla said.

Speaking to SAnews at the national Results Operation Centre in Pretoria on Saturday, he lauded the IEC for its professionalism in dealing with the allegations of double voting.

“What is important is that [when they were] alerted… they didn’t deny the issue and promised to deal with it. They proposed the Statistician General to do an audit - which was the right thing to do,” he said.

On Wednesday, a total of 17 671 616 of people cast their votes at a time when South Africa celebrates 25 years of democracy. The voter turnout stood at 65.99% when compared to the 26 779 025 people who were registered to vote.

Lehohla expressed concern at the low voter turnout which he attributed to the high levels of unemployment among young people.

He said young people were frustrated that they could not find jobs and this was one of the issues politicians needed to address going forward.

“What is important is what happens afterwards. That is the key question that every politician and South Africa must answer afterwards in particular in the era of high levels of corruption and social degeneration,” he said.

The 2019 elections were won by the African National Congress with 57.5% of the votes, followed by the Democratic Alliance with 20.77% of the votes and the Economic Freedom Fighters 10.79%. –