Local elections: DA heads to ConCourt to nullify IEC decision reopening candidate registration

Local elections: DA heads to ConCourt to nullify IEC decision reopening candidate registration

PHOTO: Nelius Rademan/Gallo Images

  • The DA has approached the Constitutional Court to nullify the IEC’s decision to reopen the registration process for ward councillor candidates in next month’s elections.
  • The IEC’s decision mainly benefits the ANC, who failed to register candidates in 93 local municipalities.
  • The DA argues that the ruling party cannot be given a second bite at the cherry.

The DA has urgently applied to the Constitutional Court to nullify the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) decision to reopen the registration process for ward councillor candidates in next month’s local government elections.

According to court papers filed on Tuesday, the DA also wanted the decision to be declared unconstitutional and invalid, and set aside.

READ | This is about the right to stand for political office, Ramaphosa says as IEC gives ANC a lifeline

It also wanted any party wishing to oppose their application to file a notice by Wednesday.

On Monday, the IEC announced voter and candidate registrations would be reopened after the Constitutional Court dismissed its application to postpone the local government elections until next year.

The decision allows the ANC to complete and register the outstanding candidates in 93 municipalities across the country.

Last month, the ruling party even went as far as to approach the court to have the candidate registration process reopened but withdrew its application at the last hour.

But many described the IEC’s decision as a lifeline for the ANC, who has been hit by several internal challenges that have led to the ruling party missing the 23 August deadline to submit nominations.

Earlier this week, DA federal chairperson Helen Zille announced the party’s intention to take the matter to court.

Zille argued that while the Constitutional Court judgment underscored the importance of a voter registration period, they strongly objected to the use of the window to reopen candidate registration.

She argued that the ANC could not demand a second bite at the cherry as this was never granted before when other parties requested leeway on an IEC deadline.

READ MORE | WRAP | IEC announces voter registration weekend, reopens candidate nominations ahead of LGE

The DA’s founding affidavit was submitted in the name of party MP Werner Horn.

In it, Horn argues that all parties had the opportunity to submit candidates for the election by the 23 August deadline.

“They all did so. None were prevented from doing so by the closure of the voters’ roll. Some parties subsequently stated that they had not nominated candidates in time for all the elections they wished to compete in, but the reason was either incompetence or the IEC’s system not closing for the voters’ roll,” he said.

The IFP also added its voice to the matter, insisting that the IEC’s decision clearly showed it was operating with political bias.


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