Opposition parties seek electoral reform after the release of the final SRC election results.
As the dust settles on this year’s Student Representative Council (SRC) elections, opposition parties are gearing up to challenge the system and gain electoral reform.The clean sweep by the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), with securing the entire 15-seat council, seems to have pushed opposition parties over the edge.
“We are on record as having stated that certain practices have undermined the credibility of the elections,” said Jamie Mighti, spokesperson for Project W.
“PYA was allowed to campaign in residences whilst other organisations were kicked out. They removed rival organisation posters, they campaigned during [voting]and brought in non-Wits students to help,” said Mighti.
Project W is currently talking to other stakeholders who are also pushing for electoral reform, such as the Wits Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
“With the current electoral system, it allows some organisations to have an unfair advantage. It is time to change the system to one that is not biased against anyone,” said Koketso Poho, acting chairperson of Wits EFF.
“We are currently looking at electoral code documents and analysing the legal framework so that we can present a strong case,” he said.
According to Mighti, Project W wants online voting to be implemented, equal access to all campuses for all parties and real action taken against organisations that infringe electoral rules.
“[Wits EFF] will be asking for ballots to be monitored in a room with cameras, an independent and external electoral commission, and for results to be proportional to the amount of votes an organisation has received,” said Poho.
Wits EFF was scheduled to meet on Thursday, September 8, to discuss the best way forward in achieving electoral reform, a battle that according to Poho “has been ongoing”.
According to Project W’s Mighti, “We have in the past received a commitment from [Vice Chancellor] Adam Habib to reform elections, however, nothing has been done in the past year. So we will be seeking to get action on commitments made by the university in preceding years.”