IEC Dismisses Media Reports

| May 4, 2015

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has dismissed as untrue reports carried in the Sunday Standard alleging irregularities in the national voters roll.

“The allegations that are given prominence on the Sunday Standard (April 26-2 May 2015) are mere chinwag that should be condemned and not tolerated to protect the integrity of elections in Botswana,” a statement from IEC stated.

The article, the statement said, was misleading and falls short of substance in extrapolating statutory requisites on the voters’ roll production, management, and its security. The IEC said production and management of the voters’ roll was a mandatory and sole responsibility of the commission.

“Any allegation or assumption on the involvement of other parties or institutions in the process as purported by the reporter is maliciously damaging to the credibility of the IEC and cannot be allowed to pass unchallenged. The analogy by the reporter is too speculative and lacks factual coherence. It fails to distinguish a political party’s voters’ roll from the general elections voters’ roll, and how the purported concealed irregularities contributed in reversing the election outcome in some constituencies.”

Any deduction that insinuated that the ‘concealed’ IEC voters’ roll ‘irregularities’ reversed the outcome of some constituencies, undermines the free thinking of voters when casting their vote, the release says.

It further explained that the voters roll was a high security document managed in accordance with the requirement of the legal frame work. No person, institution, organisation, or party has access to the production of voters roll other than the IEC.

“It is totally wrong and misleading to allegedly claim that anybody had access to the voters’ roll before its publication. It was only after publication of such rolls in the Government Gazette that the law required the IEC to make voters’ rolls available to registered political parties in any form they wished to have it. The issue of who received the roll first depended on the urgent response by parties after the publication.”

It is normal practice after receiving such copies of voters’ rolls that political parties may decide to use the document for their election campaigns and self-assessment. “The Independent Electoral Commission had no business in opinion polls that political parties conducted to gauge their strengths in different constituencies before polling day.”

This had no effect on the status of the 2014 election roll that remains a public document to this day, the statement explains.

Source : IEC

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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