Former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who led the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) observer mission to South African elections, has described the country’s national and provincial elections as peaceful and commended South Africans for their commitment to democracy.
The former President made this known while releasing EISA’s interim statement during a media briefing at the national election results operation centre in Pretoria.
He said that the elections were conducted within a strong legal and institutional framework that guaranteed democratic elections, stressing thatit was made possible because South Africans and the political parties had confidence in both the electoral management body and the police.
He said: “Elections are only credible when the voters and political parties have confidence in the electoral management bodies conducting the elections and the police. This has been the case in South Africa.”
He noted further that the “key players in the process conducted themselves in accordance with stipulated laws and guidelines. South Africa, through these elections, met its obligations to democratic elections, set out in the different international instruments to which it is party.”
The mission however noted the recent allegations of electoral fraud by some political parties.
“The EISA EOM has not observed an unusual increase in voter turnout in comparison to previous elections. Such an increase would have been expected in the case of widespread multiple voting.”
Jonathan said the institute called on aggrieved parties to “freely express their dissatisfaction” within the confines of the law, and made a call to citizens to maintain their trust in the judiciary.
“The EISA EOM wishes to further encourage political leaders to be measured and well informed in their pronouncements, to avoid misleading or inciting the public. Political parties should also work with the [Electoral Commission of South Africa – IEC] to determine the extent of the alleged multiple voting and its overall impact on the process,” he said.
“The EISA EOM commends South Africa for its continued commitment to democracy and the conduct of a peaceful electoral process.”