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allAfrica.com: South Africa: Food Used as Election Weapon, Say Monitors (Page 1 of 1)

Cape Town -- South African civil society election monitors are expecting largely violence-free polls in the country's national elections, but say party activists have been using access to food and social grants as a political weapon.

The Election Monitoring Network - formed by leading non-governmental agencies and religious organizations - says in its final pre-election report that the run-up to Wednesday's election - "the most competitive election in South Africa's history" - has seen "much lower levels of political violence and intolerance than might have been expected."

However, the monitors are worried that the announcement of results could trigger conflict in KwaZulu-Natal and have called for security measures which were implemented to ensure peace at the polls should remain in place after voting day.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:42:48 PM EST
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South Africa's Zuma calls for big poll turnout | International | Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Jacob Zuma called for a huge turnout for South Africa's election on Wednesday to give his ruling African National Congress an overwhelming mandate in its toughest test since the end of apartheid.

Zuma is expected to become president after the ballot of 23 million South Africans, but the ANC risks losing the two-thirds majority in parliament it needs to change the constitution in the face of a new opposition party formed by ANC dissidents.

"We anticipate a massive turnout and we expect that the people of this country will once again give the ANC a huge and decisive mandate to work together with them to further improve their lives," he told a last news conference before the vote.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:02:03 PM EST
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