Parliament's presiding officers urged voters to to exercise their right earned in 1994 to vote and to elect the government of their choice. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The South African Parliament's presiding officers on Friday urged South African voters to to exercise their right earned in 1994 to vote and to elect the government of their choice.

Saturday marks 25 years since South Africa's first democratic elections and in a statement, Parliament said: "On that Wednesday, 27 April in 1994, we voted as equals for the very first time to elect the government of our choice. It was a historic turning point – away from a past of division, conflict and discrimination; towards a future bright with hope and boundless potential.

"We went on to craft a Constitution to protect our aspirations of building a South Africa based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; to lay the foundation for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by the law; to improve the quality of life and free the potential of each person; and to build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations."

The statement added: "We also agreed that this Constitution would be the supreme law of our land, binding all organs of state and citizens. The supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law is another break with the past, when Parliament had the final say over laws. Since 1994, we have laid the foundations for the South Africa of our dreams. Parliament, as the legislative authority of our democratic republic, has passed a raft of laws aimed at transforming and improving the material conditions of all South Africans."

The sixth democratic Parliament, which will be established as a result of the upcoming elections on May 8 election, will "undoubtedly intensify and enhance the efforts of previous democratic Parliaments".

African News Agency (ANA)