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IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya speaks about the readiness to take on the task of voter registrations set for 18 and 19 November 2023. Moepya has warned that there will be strict measures against political parties inciting violence, intimidation, spreading false information, or abusing positions of power against their opponents in the upcoming 2024 Picture: Timothy Bernard / African News Agency (ANA) / October 24, 2023

By IOL Staff

The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) chairperson Mosotho Moepya has warned that there would be strict measures against political parties inciting violence, intimidation, spreading false information, or abusing positions of power against their opponents in the upcoming 2024 national and provincial elections.

He said political parties – regardless of their size – must adhere to the Electoral Code of Conduct.

This entails taking reasonable steps to ensure compliance, committing to the principles of free expression and democratic debate, and recognising the authority of the IEC in conducting the elections.

“Beyond adherence to the code, political parties, independent candidates, and citizens alike must actively promote awareness of the code’s purpose and support efforts to educate voters.

“Certain behaviours, such as inciting violence, intimidation, spreading false information, or abusing positions of power, are strictly prohibited and must be met with swift accountability measures,” he said.

Moepya made the remarks at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand on Thursday where the IEC hosted the signing of the Electoral Code of Conduct event ahead of the polls.

During his address, Moepya said upholding the provisions of the Electoral Code of Conduct would reinforce democratic values such as tolerance, respect for diversity, and the peaceful resolution of disputes.

“These values are essential for the functioning of a healthy democracy and for fostering trust between citizens and their elected representatives,” he said.

Despite political violence and intimidation undermining the integrity of the electoral process, Moepya said political parties can help prevent such incidents and contribute to a peaceful electoral environment by complying with the code.

Moepya said this will also ensure that all political parties and candidates have equal opportunities to campaign and communicate their messages to voters.

“Violations of the code, such as unfair campaign practices or discriminatory behaviour, can distort the electoral playing field and undermine the principle of equality in the electoral process,” he explained.

He furthermore urged all South Africans to cooperate with IEC officials at the polling stations and exercise their democratic rights with pride and responsibility. – IOL / politics

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