Play your role in consolidating democracy

by MMC
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on citizens, political parties and civil society to work together to ensure this year’s elections are a “success in our ongoing journey of democratic consolidation”.

The president addressed the nation through his weekly bulletin.

The 2024 national and provincial elections are scheduled to take place on May 29 this year.

“It is up to all of us, whether as government, political parties, candidates, voters, media or civil society organizations, to play our part in ensuring that our actions and words inspire confidence in our democracy. We must continue to work together to ensure that nothing compromises the integrity of our elections.

“Above all, it is up to all of us to ensure that this hard-won right to vote, for which so many have sacrificed so much, is exercised by all eligible citizens in a climate free from intimidation and any form of violence,” President Ramaphosa said. said.

This year’s elections will be the seventh since the advent of democracy 30 years ago.

As the President noted, the country’s electoral processes and the rights enjoyed by citizens and political parties to organize, campaign and run “are among the greatest strengths of our constitutional order.”

Valuable rights

President Ramaphosa reminded South Africans that in this country, politicians are free to run and that the media’s freedom to report is guaranteed by courts administering justice “without fear or favor, including a court electoral commission which supervises the work of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) and the conduct of elections.

“As the country counts down to elections, the vibrant and robust campaign that is unfolding reflects how South African politics continues to evolve and mature. It also reflects the many different viewpoints that exist in our society and the diversity of choices voters have.

“In a democracy like ours, we should not worry about differences, even if they are clearly expressed. This is because the vast majority of South Africans value and respect the democratic process. They have faith in the rule of law and know that any dispute can be resolved in court or through other legal channels.

“Over the past 30 years, we have held elections that were not only free and fair, but also peaceful and free from intimidation. Gloomy predictions of South Africa’s ‘regression towards violence’ or ‘democratic backsliding’, which unfortunately remain a common feature of some reporting and analysis, have been proven wrong time and time again. he declared.

The South African voter

President Ramaphosa said that according to a study, most South Africans “recognize the importance of their vote and believe they have a duty to vote”, with a study commissioned by the IEC revealing that about 57% of South Africans have expressed the belief that voting is their duty.

“While youth apathy is often cited as a problem in our country, around 55% of 18-24 year olds consider voting a duty. Significantly, young people accounted for more than 78% of new voter registrations last year. The IEC study also found that the majority of respondents agree that democracy is preferable to other types of government.

“Despite its many challenges, our democracy is in good health. “Even as political and other protests continue in the run-up to this year’s elections, they are taking place under the broad umbrella of a constitutional order characterized by fundamental freedoms and human rights,” said the President Ramaphosa. – SAnews.gov.za

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