27 August 2008
EBC promises to address challenges
By Njabulo Dlamini
CHALLENGES noted in the primary elections held on the weekend have been acknowledged by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), which has promised to expedite the process of resolving these.
Chief Gija Dlamini, EBC Chairman, said the public shall be kept informed on the various developments of the elections process as it unfolded.
He said the challenges were a result of some candidates failing to avail themselves for photographic sessions thus their pictures did not appear on the ballot papers.
Again some people did not view the voters roll when requested to do so thus the EBC had to correct mistakes over the phone.
"The EBC is mindful of the constitutional right of the individual to exercise his/her right to vote. It is in that vein that the EBC is working round the clock to ensure that the challenges are addressed as soon as possible," he said.
Dlamini said the result of the non-viewing and correcting the preliminary voters roll provided after the nominations, was a delay in the queues during voting.
This was because many people did not appear in the roll.
"The roll-over effect of the lack of voters' roll inspection was the fact that some polling centres ran out of ballot papers as they had been printed based on the number of registered voters in that particular chiefdom as reflected in the voters roll".
Speaking at a press conference at their Nkhanini offices, Dlamini said since the public was entitled to the outcome of voting, they had released those centres whose results were now available.
On the general outlook, Chief Gija said about 80 percent of the process was completed on Saturday and another 10 percent concluded the following day, Sunday.
The extension to Saturday, according to the EBC, was necessitated by the overwhelming number of voters who could not be all accommodated within the stipulated time frame (7am to 5pm) on Saturday.
"The Commission invoked Section 12 of the Elections Order of 1992 which allowed, in the public interest, the extension of the primary elections in the areas where voters were still lining to vote at closing time".
The EBC extended its indebtedness to the voters for their patience demonstrated at the polling centres. Also commended was the media for the 'keen interest it shown in covering the process and informing the public about the National Elections'.