Political parties pledge tolerance ahead of elections

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Nthambeleni Gabara

Midrand - Political parties that are registered to contest the May 7 general election today signed a pledge to promote tolerance ahead of the polls.

On Wednesday, political parties signed the Independent Electoral Commission’s Code of Conduct, committing themselves to refrain from war talk and all acts of violence, including intimidation, during the campaigning period.

Political organisations used the platform to reassure the public and the IEC of their commitment to peaceful election campaigns.

African National Congress Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe said: "We value the elections and as always, we will never intimidate, harass or be involved in any form of violence.”

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille said as the country’s main opposition party, they unconditionally and whole heartedly commit to abide by the IEC code of conduct.

IFP representative Inkosi Mandla Buthelezi also committed to a free, fair and credible 2014 general election.

Leader of Bushbuckridge Residents Association (BRA), Delta Mokoena, said they will give their opponents space to campaign in their stronghold (Bushbuckridge) and certain parts of Mpumalanga.

Reverend Larry Varrie of the First National Liberation Alliance (FINLA) said the IEC should reconsider reducing the registration fee for political organisation to contest the elections, as the current fee is not affordable to newcomers and other small parties.

Azanian People's Organisation (AZAPO) leader Jake Dikobo said they were also committed to promoting peaceful elections.

Leader of little known Al Jamah-Ah party, Ganief Hendricks, said: “We are pledging to adhere to the IEC code of conduct and we will be more peaceful during the elections...”

Other known parties which also signed the pledge include COPE and the two factions of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) representative, Mpho Ramakatsa, urged leaders of political parties to tell their members to refrain from declaring certain areas “no go areas”.

Political parties appealed to the public broadcaster to give all political parties fair and equal coverage.

Meanwhile, the IEC also used the event to conduct the draw for the position on the ballot paper, which was won by the Freedom Front Plus (FFP).

This means that FFP will top the 2014 ballot paper list. - SAnews.gov.za

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