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Holding free, fair elections barometer of good health of SA’s democracy – Ramaphosa

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Holding free, fair elections barometer of good health of SA’s democracy – Ramaphosa

Holding free, fair elections barometer of good health of SA’s democracy – Ramaphosa

28th May 2024

By: Thabi Shomolekae
Creamer Media Senior Writer

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says government is confident that the 2024 election will take place under conditions of peace, safety and tolerance, and that it will be free and fair.

More than 27-million registered voters will have an opportunity to choose the party or candidate of their choice on Wednesday.

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South African voters will join about 1.5-billion people – more than half the world’s voting-eligible population – who will be casting their votes this year in elections in more than 80 countries around the world.

“South Africa’s elections have taken place without major incident for the past 30 years. Once again, we have every confidence that this election will take place under conditions of peace, safety and tolerance, and that it will be free and fair,” said Ramaphosa.

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He highlighted that the integrity of the country’s elections was testament to the high regard in which South Africans held their hard-won right to vote.

“…it is an affirmation that no matter what our political differences are, when it comes to safeguarding our democracy, we are prepared to put these differences aside for the common good,” he explained.

He noted that holding free, fair and peaceful elections was a barometer of the good health of the country’s democracy.

“As we cast our votes on Wednesday, let us, in the words of our Constitution, honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land, respect those who have worked to build and develop our country, and believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity,” said Ramaphosa.

Meanwhile, acting speaker of the National Assembly Lechesa Tsenoli, and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo encouraged all registered voters to exercise their right to vote, as it was crucial for shaping the future of the nation.

Parliament noted that the right to vote was an important political right enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

“It is a key component of our democratic society as it allows citizens to participate in the political process and have a say in who governs them. This year’s elections come as our country celebrates 30 years of democracy and a democratic Parliament,” it said.

Parliament explained that by participating in the electoral process, citizens ensured that the country’s democracy continued to evolve and address the needs and aspirations of all citizens.

“…your vote is your voice—use it to secure a brighter future for yourself and generations to come. Your vote is your only opportunity to choose who will represent you. Do not let others decide your future for you. Be part of the decision,” it said.

As the legislative authority of the country’s democratic republic, Tsenoli explained that Parliament must ensure a government by the people, under the Constitution.

He highlighted that over the last 30 years, Parliament has repealed apartheid laws and passed progressive laws to improve the lives of all South Africans.

He said preparations were well underway to seamlessly integrate newly elected members, ensuring a smooth transition to the seventh parliamentary term

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