40 objections to poll candidates: IEC

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IOL IEC Independent Newspapers

Johannesburg - The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) has received about 40 objections to National Assembly and provincial legislature election candidates, it said on Wednesday.

“It is not yet possible to indicate how many candidates have been objected to as the submissions must now be captured and processed,” spokeswoman Kate Bapela said in a statement.

“Some of the submissions relate to more than one candidate and it is possible that more than one objection has been received for the same candidate.”

The deadline for objections was 5pm on Tuesday.

In terms of the Electoral Act, anyone, including the chief electoral officer, may object to the nomination of a candidate.

An objection can be made on three grounds: If a candidate does not qualify to stand in the election, if the prescribed acceptance of nomination is not signed by the candidate, and if no undertaking signed by the candidate that he/she is bound by the Electoral Code of Conduct is submitted.

The IEC would consider all objections and inform the objector and the party of its decision by 5pm on Monday.

Bapela on Wednesday said once the commission had made a decision appeals had to be submitted to the Electoral Court by April 10.

The final deadline for decisions by the court was April 15.

“The chief electoral officer is required to give effect to decisions of the commission on objections or a decision of the Electoral Court by 22 April 2014,” she said.

“Certificates will be issued to candidates on the final list of candidates by 24 April.”

Agriculture union Tau SA and the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa (IFAISA) both sent letters to the IEC objecting to President Jacob Zuma's number one position on the list of African National Congress candidates.

“He (Zuma) has been recently implicated in a report of the Public Protector regarding possible irregular expenses on his Nkandla homestead, and the fact that he could have misled Parliament on this issue,” Tau SA wrote.

The union said it was of the opinion that an MP had to be free of any suspected involvement in corruption, misappropriation of funds and misleading Parliament.

The IFAISA said its objection was lodged ex abundante cautela (from excessive caution) as the ANC was still considering the objection letter and had not yet responded substantively to it.

In an open letter sent to the IEC, the institute included arguments based on the Public Protector's “Secure in Comfort” report on Zuma's Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal.

Also contained in the letter was mention of review proceedings, which the Democratic Alliance had pending against the decision to withdraw 783 charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering against Zuma.

Sapa



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