DA intent on challenging IEC over candidate registrations
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Johannesburg - The DA has urgently applied to the Constitutional Court to set aside the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) decision to reopen the candidate nomination process for upcoming local government elections.
In papers filed in court late on Tuesday night, the DA wants the court to review the IEC’s decision and declare it unconstitutional and unlawful.
The application arises from the recent order of the ConCourt to dismiss the IEC’s application to delay the local government elections.
The ConCourt order also stated that amendments could be made to the election timetable which its says is “reasonably necessary”.
While the apex court ordered that elections go ahead in October and explicitly stated that a voter’s registration weekend be held, the IEC also announced that the candidate nomination process will be reopened.
However, in an accompanying affidavit by the DA’s representative on the party liaison committee, Werner Horn said the “obvious” meaning of reasonably necessary was amendments necessary to cater for the reopening of the voters roll due to the voter registration drive.
“It is not a licence to make amendment(s) that are unconnected to reopening the roll and which the commission already decided not to make. Yet that is what the commission has done,” he said.
Horn said all parties had the opportunity to nominate candidates by August 23, which they all did.
He said none were prevented from nominating their candidates due to the closure of the voters roll and while some parties subsequently stated they did not nominate candidates in time, “the reason was either their incompetence or the commission’s system”.
“If a political party failed to ensure its members registered as voters so they could stand as candidates, or prospective independent candidates failed to take advantage of that opportunity, they have only themselves to blame,” said Horn.
He said there was “absolutely no connection” between reopening the voters roll and reopening candidate nomination.