IEC warns political parties to act within electoral code ahead of elections

The electoral code of conduct was signed by several political parties on Friday at Naserc in Johannesburg to ensure free and fair elections.

IEC President Glen Mashini during a press briefing at Centurion, Johannesburg, May 20, 2021, on the upcoming local elections. Photo: Abigail Javier / Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG – The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has taken a strong stand against political parties that plan to disrupt political meetings, free campaigns and the opening of public debate in the upcoming local elections.

The electoral code of conduct was signed by several political parties on Friday at Naserc in Johannesburg to ensure free and fair elections.

A total of 325 parties will vie for seats on November 1, with 1,718 independent candidates also in contention.

The chairman of the electoral commission, Glen Mashinini, declared the IEC ready for local elections when the electoral code of conduct was signed in Johannesburg.

With exactly one month before South Africans went to the polls to vote, Mashinini stressed that the responsibility for conducting free and fair elections rests not only with the IEC but also with political parties, their agents and candidates.

“The responsibility of political parties also goes beyond respect for the code, which uses language that provokes violence, intimidation of candidates or voters, degrades the posters of other parties, carries weapons or weapons during political meetings, bribing voters to vote or not and generally abusing a position of power.

Meanwhile, party leaders called on the CEI to be more rigorous in applying the code.

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