Home South African UDM questions IEC’s seat allocation process

UDM questions IEC’s seat allocation process

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This year’s national and provincial elections were full of irregularities, from scanners not working to some voters not allowed to vote in both regional and provincial ballots.

Bantu Holomisa’s UDM has questioned the IEC seat allocation process. File picture: Paballo Thekiso

By Sipho Jack

THIS year’s national and provincial elections were full of irregularities, from scanners not working to some voters not allowed to vote in both regional and provincial ballots.

Many political parties came forward to voice their dissatisfaction over the outcome and the conduct of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).

They complained about the inconsistency that arose from the manual counting versus votes that were captured in the results slips, which prompted demands for a recount.

Despite the IEC announcing the results on Sunday, it said the commission would deal with every concern or objection raised in terms of the electoral process and if need be there would be a recount.

Election analyst Michael Atkins said these concerns should be properly ventilated and that the IEC must make improvements where needed.

“Many people had poor experiences of voting and many questions have been raised about individual results. Our electoral system and the integrity of our electoral processes must be sacrosanct. We must simply keep refusing to accept second-best,” Atkins said.

He, however, aired concerns that some of the claims made were exaggerated as some political parties were making claims with no actual evidence to back them up.

“In the meantime, however, it is still reasonable to interrogate the quality of electoral processes and the finer accuracy of results, even as we uphold the institutional integrity of the IEC”.

Meanwhile, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) also wrote to the commission’s CEO, Sy Mamabolo, questioning the IEC’s seat allocation.

In a letter to Mamabolo, the party questioned how the Al Jama-ah, with 39,041 votes, had been allocated two seats in the National Assembly, together with the Cape Coloured Congress/National Coloured Congress (CCC/NCC), with 37,410 votes, being allocated two seats, while the UDM had garnered 78,391 votes and has been allocated two seats in the National Assembly.

“We seek clarification on the methodology used for this allocation. By examining Al Jama-ah’s vote count and seat allocation, it appears that each seat corresponds to 19,520.5 votes (39,041 votes divided by two seats).

“Applying this ratio to the UDM’s 78,391 votes would suggest an allocation of four seats in the National Assembly.

“This discrepancy raises significant concerns about the accuracy and fairness of the seat allocation process. We respectfully request a detailed explanation of the mathematical and procedural framework used by the IEC to determine the seat allocations for the parties mentioned,” the UDM said in the letter.

At the same time, the party’s secretary-general, Yongama Zigebe, announced that the UDM had a significant growth in both the national and eastern provincial legislatures, achieving three seats in each.

Zigebe said this great achievement was a testament to the trust and confidence the people of South Africa had placed in the UDM’s vision and leadership.

“We are delighted with this growth, which reinforces our commitment to addressing the critical issues facing our nation, particularly our unwavering fight against corruption. While we believe there is always room for further progress, we are sincerely thankful for this achievement and the support from our fellow South Africans.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the voters who participated in this election. Your vote is your voice and we are honoured to represent your call for change and better governance. The UDM remains dedicated to working tirelessly to uphold the values and aspirations of the people of South Africa,” he concluded.

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela was not available for comment.

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