Smaller parties brief the media at the IEC Results Centre on Friday. (Kyle Cowan, News24)
A coalition of 35 small political parties emerged from a meeting on Friday morning to announce they were still unhappy with the running of the 2019 national election.
The party leaders gathered in front of the main stage at the national results operations centre shortly after noon on Friday to call on the Electoral Commission (IEC) to appoint an independent auditor, not affiliated with government, to examine the results.
The parties, led by Cope’s Dennis Bloem and secretary general of the African Content Movement Romeo Ramuada, called on the international community and election observers to take note of their concerns. Ramuada, speaking on behalf of the parties, accused the IEC of "ducking and diving" their concerns.
The parties have also taken a decision to go to court over the results, which they say are not true or correct. Ramuada said the process of filing court papers was already in motion. Chief among the concerns raised by several party leaders is that their own votes were not yet reflected in the results for the voting district they themselves voted in.
Concerns over the 20 people arrested for "double voting" led the smaller parties to believe the process was unfair. This has been disputed by the IEC, News24 reported earlier.
Read more: No evidence of double voting, says IEC
"There is a clear indication that there is due course not to continue this process without a proper and independent investigation," a statement issued by the parties reads.
"The IEC has already labelled us as disgruntled. We in the strongest terms object to this because we represent millions of South Africans from all walks of life."
According to the statement, efforts were made to stop the group of 35 parties from engaging with the media and taking the issue forward. The statement also alludes to the fact that the IEC threatened legal action to prohibit the parties from making further statements.
"Due to the stance taken by the IEC, members of the 35 parties who were in the NPLC walked out of the meeting because the IEC is not taking our objections and complaints seriously," the parties said.
"Yesterday, we submitted a grievance and received an acknowledgment letter. The IEC already missed the deadline and thus forced us to engage South Africans and the media."
The statement concludes with the parties demanding a rerun of the elections – over and above an independent audit of results. Ramuada confirmed to News24 and other media the parties were planning to go to court.
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