The DA wrote to the US government pleading for additional resources to bolster the deployment of election observers

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says its decision to reach out the United States (US) to intervene in the upcoming national and provincial elections is not meant to cast doubt on the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) ability to run the elections.

The official opposition wrote to the US government pleading for additional resources to bolster the deployment of election observers when South Africans go the polls on 29 May in what is expected to be a hotly contested election since the dawn of democracy.

While South Africa’s elections have generally been free and fair, with the country counted among those with the best practices and excelling in holding elections after 30 years of democracy, the DA’s letter is seen as insinuating that the IEC lacks the ability to run a smooth election.

Watch DA MP Emma Louise-Powell speak about the party’s letter to the US

IEC’s ability

The DA’s shadow minister for international relations Emma Louise Powell told 702 this is hardly the case.

“The DA’s and multi-party charters request is clear that it is in everybody’s interest, all political parties interests that we have all eyes on this election from the international community that resources are channelled into bolstering the deployment of independent domestic observers and that civil society and that civil society is capacitated.

“We as a nation have got everything to play for and everything to lose. So, out request to the international community is in our democracy’s interest, it is not our interest as an individual organisation and its certainly does not cast a call on the IEC’s ability to run the election. This is standard practice in democracies the world over,” Powell said.

Powell said the DA request was not only made to the US but nations both across the “global north and south” including Zambia and to the African Union (AU).

ALSO READ: WATCH: DA trying to ‘mortgage’ our democracy to the US – Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa slams DA

President Cyril Ramaphosa slammed the DA for reaching out to the US to intervene in the upcoming national and provincial election, saying the party was “mortgaging the country’s democracy.”

“We invite them and say do come and monitor. But now, for a non-state entity to do something like that is basically saying we are mortgaging our democracy. We deal with regional, continental and global organisations and we invite them.

“So, we think it’s quite disingenuous and it seems to be another agenda that underpins that. We will want obviously our elections to be transparent, to be well-held as they’ve been in the past,” Ramaphosa said.

In a letter addressed to US secretary of state Antony Blinken, the DA claims the election is facing risks from Jacob Zuma’s MK party and the African National Congress’ (ANC) alliances with “malign international actors.”

ALSO READ: WATCH: IFP hopes Buthelezi’s legacy will attract more votes during elections


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