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Political parties commit to tolerance

Political parties contesting elections have pledged themselves to tolerance and campaigning free from intimidation in the run-up to the 7 May national and provincial elections.

The Code of Conduct was signed at Gallagher Estate in Midrand on 19 March.

Addressing the signing ceremony the chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Advocate Pansy Tlakula said, “The ‘free’ part of elections speaks largely to the environment that prevails in the lead up to an election. Free elections mean giving eligible voters a chance to make their choices and to hear the different positions of those contesting an election.”

Tlakula said 29 of the 33 political parties which last week submitted documents to the commission indicating their intent to contest the national election, pledged to abide by Electoral Code of Conduct. “Four parties were unable to send a representative to the signing ceremony but remain bound by the Code of Conduct in terms of the law. They will be invited to sign the pledge soon.”

The pledge was signed by a senior representative of each party and commits them to:

  •  Lead their parties in a manner that will reinforce a culture of tolerance towards all other parties contesting elections.
  •  To effectively counsel and advise all candidates on their party lists so that each candidate will in turn not promote violence.
  •  To not use speech or form participating in actions which will have the effect of provoking either parties’ supporters or the general public.
  •  To publicly promote the eradication of no-go areas for political campaigns by political parties.
  •  To work together to achieve the objects and goals of the Code of Conduct.

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