MIL-OSI Africa: SA elections were held under “peaceful” conditions – African Union Mission

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Source: South Africa News Agency

Head of the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM), former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, has declared that South Africa’s 2024 National and Provincial Elections were held under peaceful conditions.

The observer mission was deployed to South Africa from 21 May at the invitation of the South African Government and the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).

This as South Africans went to the polls on Wednesday, 29 May.

“Overall, the mission notes that the 2024 South African National and Provincial Elections were pivotal for the country’s democratic future and had implications for political stability within South Africa and the sub-region.

“South Africans freely exercised their constitutional right to vote and voted peacefully. The participation of youth and women offers hope for the future of democracy in Africa, and indicates an increased trust in the electoral process.

“While the electoral process is still ongoing, we implore all aggrieved parties to use the existing election dispute resolution mechanisms to address their grievances, if any,” Kenyatta said in a preliminary statement.

AUEOM staff have been deployed to several parts of the country to observe aspects of the elections.

“Since arriving in South Africa, the AUEOM has engaged with key stakeholders, including the IEC, the media, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), faith-based organisations, representatives of the international community, citizens’ observer groups and Heads of other Election Observer Missions, the African Diplomatic Corps and the international community, and academia.

“The Mission deployed 21 teams of 65 observers across nine provinces to observe the special voting on 28 May and polling on 29 May 2024, focusing on various aspects of the electoral process. A final report with comprehensive findings and recommendations will be issued two months after the elections,” Kenyatta stated.

He observed that the National and Provincial Elections (NPE2024) was held with “a renewed enthusiasm among South Africans to strengthen their democratic gains”.

“This election was notably competitive due to the emergence of several new political parties. Despite the peaceful and credible nature of the previous six elections, the 2024 elections were marked by a tense political environment, intensified by several litigations.

“The pre-election period saw heightened tensions and concerns over the potential misuse of social media for spreading fake news, disinformation, and misinformation, which could incite violence.

“Nevertheless, the elections proceeded without major incidents, maintaining a pattern of peaceful conduct. Despite the challenges and tensions, the 2024 elections were conducted peacefully, demonstrating the resilience of South Africa’s democratic processes,” Kenyatta said. –

MIL OSI Africa