The following political parties, ACDP, AgangSA, Azapo, Cope, DA, EFF, FF+, IFP, UCDP and UDM met today to discuss various issues regarding their concerns around the practical processes of Elections 2014, the findings around the lease agreement of the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) head office, manipulation of the public broad caster, as well as the Nkandla Scandal.
PRACTICAL MATTERS REGARDING ELECTIONS 2014
Some of the practical matters that were discussed are:
1. Numbering and security features of ballot papers.
2. Allocation and distribution of ballot papers to each voting station and the security thereof.
3. Allegations of IEC officials intimidating party agents.
4. The names of the companies that:
• Print the ballot papers,
• Are responsible for capturing votes.
• Are responsible to transport ballot papers from the printers to the IEC’s warehouse.
5. Allocation of airtime for Public Electoral Broadcasts (PEBs) to various political parties.
6. The role of international and national observers.
7. Appointment of presiding officers and the involvement of partisan persons.
8. Standardisation of assistance to voters who need help, such as blind or illiterate persons.
THE IEC’s SERVICE PROVIDERS
The Electoral Commission undertook to make known the names of all the services providers that
• are involved in the production of the ballot papers,
• their distribution and security,
• as well as the IT companies who are responsible for capturing of votes.
APPOINTMENT OF PRESIDING OFFICERS
The political parties agreed that no person may be appointed as a Presiding Officer if they are affiliated with any political formation, such as the Sadtu.
POLITICAL PARTIES’ VIEWS ON THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
The subject of the implementation of both the Public Protector’s recommendations, as well as the findings of National Treasury’s forensic audit, regarding the IEC lease agreement of its head office, was discussed at length.
Some political parties expressed the view that the good international reputation of the IEC has been tainted and it creates doubt that the Commission that can preside over free and fair elections.
All the political parties present, with the exception of the Democratic Alliance and the Freedom Front Plus, agreed that Adv. Pansy Tlakula, the incumbent Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, must resign immediately. Should she refuse to resign, the parties who are in agreement will pursue legal action.
The political parties have agreed to establish a small committee to discuss joint action regarding the matter and those details will be disclosed at a later stage.
The leaders of the political parties will meet to discuss the matter after President’s Zuma’s reaction tomorrow as was ordered by the Public Protector.