Postponing poll ’sets dangerous precedent’

By Siphokazi Vuso Time of article published Aug 17, 2021

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Cape Town - The provincial government has become the latest entity to announce its intentions of opposing the Electoral Commission’s application to the Constitutional Court to postpone the local government elections scheduled for October 27.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde

PREMIER Alan Winde believes postponing the election risks setting a dangerous precedent whereby suffrage and related rights can be deferred and without following the correct constitutional process.

“As per the Constitution, the matter must be brought before Parliament and not the judiciary.

“We must ensure that our elections continue ahead as planned as this is in the best interest of our democracy,” Winde said.

The IEC recently filed an urgent application to the Constitutional Court for the postponement of the local elections, citing concerns with the threat posed by Covid-19.

The application is expected to be heard by the Concourt on Friday.

The Western Cape government says it will oppose the application through the MEC of Local Government Anton Bredell, in his capacity as the 10th respondent in the matter.

Bredell said that going against a constitutionally mandated election process as suggested by the postponement that is being sought by IEC is simply not something they can take lightly.

“A key component of any democracy, one that is enshrined in our Constitution, is holding regular elections and we must protect this right.

“Going against a constitutionally mandated election process – as suggested by the postponement that is being sought by the Electoral Commission – is simply not something we can take lightly as the Western Cape government.

“If the election does get postponed, then at the very least, due process must be followed and the matter must be referred to Parliament,” he said.

Cape Times

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