Mels Engels Lenin and Stalin (MELS) President Themba Joina became the latest opposition leader to hit out at the Independent Electoral Commission after its recent election gaffe, calling for the commission to be reviewed because of unfair practices in the run up to the general elections.
“The makeup of the IEC, their operation, their funding, their appointments and their mandate all needs to be reviewed,” he stated.
Joina said last week that the failure by IEC to enable officers who were helping to cast their votes during elections led to prejudice. Joina also mentioned that a large number of voters were denied the opportunity to cast their votes and such, a large number of voters were shed in the dark.
He illustrated that IEC lacks the capacity to create an environment to enable a free and fair elections, taking issue with the fact that the Secretary was appointed by the President and the staff was appointed and deployed by the government. He also said that the Commissioners did not run the elections on daily basis.
The MELS leader also said that the IEC had no hand on the way the public media conducted political debates and on how to report on political matters during election year or period.
“Election conducted under this environment leaves a lot to be desired,” he said.
He indicated that the current electoral system based on a notion of winner takes all is unfair and unrepresentative of the wishes of the electorate. He added that the electoral system is designed in such a manner that popular vote of a party is only accounted for in those constituencies where the party managed to field a parliamentary candidate.
However the Public Relations Officer of IEC, Mpho Maifala has said that they are unaware of Joina’s grievances as he has never raised them with his office.
“ If the MELS president feels prejudiced by the processes of the country’s electoral system, the appointment of the IEC Secretary, the composition of the Commission or any other component of the electoral act, just like any other citizen, he is entitled to challenge such at the court of law,” said Maifala.