Afrikaners: Election Peace Agreement Signed
Below is an article published by: Sowetan
Several political parties signed a declaration on Wednesday [25 Feb 2009], committing them to peaceful elections and political tolerance in the upcoming elections.
“We commit ourselves to the Electoral Code of Conduct. We will consistently call upon our supporters to practice tolerance and to resist provocation and acts of retaliation,” they said in a joint statement.
Those who signed were: African Christian Democratic Party, Al Jama-ah, Azanian People’s Organisation, Congress of the People, Democratic Alliance, Federation of Democrats, Freedom Front Plus, Independent Democrats, Inkatha Freedom Party, Khoisan United Front, Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, United Christian Democratic Party and the United Democratic Movement.
All called on the Independent Electoral Commission to make sure its staff was trained.
“The importance of the proper training of presiding officers is that voting agents don’t have to educate IEC’s staff on election day. This will avoid unnecessary confusion, wastage of time and possible conflict”.
They asked the IEC to prevent the abuse of special votes, saying that ballot boxes and ballot papers were at times transported without voting agents present.
“The potential for abuse could be high in outlying areas, where control measures are less likely to be enforced and political parties do not have resources.” They said the role of monitors and observers in the April 22  elections was important. They asked the IEC to provide information regarding international as well as local organisations that had applied for observer/monitor status.
The parties said the IEC should provide presiding officers with a copy of the Electoral Act on election day.
They also called on the SABC to provide all parties with the formula used to allocate airtime to individual political parties, as well as the planned programme for covering the elections on radio and television.