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IEC doubles elections numbers on its dashboard and causes an uproar

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Simon Nare

THE Independent Electoral Commission has come out to clarify the confusion created by election results on its dashboard which showed that parties got double their ballot compared to what was declared after 29 May 2024.

The IEC said the reason there were double numbers on its dashboard is that the commission has added the regional votes cast whereas the election results declared only showed the national votes cast.

For instance, in the case of the ANC it had declared results showing it got 6 443 887 votes which translated into 40.2%. That meant the party had secured 159 seats. The updated results which included regional votes cast had the ANC numbers doubled to 12 698 759 votes translating into 40.18% but the party still secured 159 seats in the National Assembly.

The DA on the other hand had 3 493 135 votes with 21.79% and 87 seats but the number doubled to 6 961 361 votes with 40.18% and still with 87 seats. So too was the EFF which has been toppled by Jacob Zuma’s MK party from being the third largest party to fourth place.

The red beret on the declared results had 1 523 972 votes with 9.51% but the updated results had the party with a whopping 3 090 020 votes, meaning their percentage went up to 9.52% although they remain with 39 seats.

The IEC in an explanatory statement released on Sunday evening said just over 16 million people cast their votes on the national and regional ballots. This accounted for 31.92 million across the nine regional ballots and one national ballot.

“The Electoral Act prescribes that for the calculation of compensatory seats both national compensatory (N) ballots and regional (R) ballots are taken into account. Hence the demotion of N+R on the results dashboard,” said the commission.

It added that the clarity of the demotion was done to ensure that the allocation of compensatory seats took into account the regional strength of all parties and showed the parties’ meeting the proportional representation.

The IEC has faced widespread criticism by various political parties who contested the elections on how it had handled or dealt with discrepancies that had emerged during the casting of votes. This led to 26 parties banding together to lodge a complaint and legally challenging the results.

Championing the legal bid was the MKP which took the matter to the Constitutional Court to derail the first sitting of parliament until the complaints were resolved.

However, the apex court threw out the application and ruled that the party had not made out a case in its urgent application that the sitting would cause the party irreparable harm if it went ahead.

The party’s main application disputing the results and having them null and void is still going to be heard where MKP is expected to present evidence pointing to rigging of the elections as it is alleging.

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