UDM comment on the outcome of Elections 2009 statement by Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP (UDM President) (26 April 2009)

The UDM received tens of thousands of votes, and we would firstly like to thank our supporters and members for this endorsement. We would like to assure them that we will vigorously represent them in Parliament and elsewhere. Our commitment to the ideals that the UDM stands for remain undiminished.

We also have to admit that the results of these elections were nowhere near our own goals; we have fared badly against other political parties, despite the countless people who did make their cross behind the UDM.

This means that we will need to look at where we went wrong. We know some of the outside factors that influenced the outcome of the elections, but we realise that we would be deluded not to do serious introspection about our own shortcomings. We would like to assure our supporters and the public at large that we will unflinchingly and carefully analyse the reasons for our performance; so that we can begin to rebuild what remains a viable choice on the political spectrum.
When we look at the overall election results we are heartened by the good turnout and the seemingly newfound enthusiasm among the electorate. At the same time we are concerned about the looming spectre of a two-thirds majority and the arrogance of power that it breeds. One-party dominance is not healthy for democracy in the long run. But it is also clear to us that the election results point to the need among the electorate for a system where two large parties of similar strength and size compete for the mandate to govern. It is incumbent upon us in the opposition, and civil society at large, to seriously explore the ways in which we can bring about such a balanced party political system to South Africa.
The UDM and other political parties have lodged complaints about certain issues. We are concerned about a number of incidents that indicate weaknesses in the system with the IEC losing control of ballot boxes, whilst in rural areas and townships there are allegations that people were allowed to vote multiple times.

An investigation is underway about ballot boxes, ID documents and IEC equipment being “misplaced”. For the sake of democracy there must not be a shred of doubt that the IEC is independent and the only entity in control of elections, but at the moment there is no doubt that it is heavily imbedded in state departments.