IEC launches bid to postpone fifth local government elections

The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) has officially launched a bid in the Constitutional Court to postpone the fifth local government election.
This is after its decision to adopt the Moseneke report which recommended elections be deferred to no later than February 2022 if they are to be free and fair.

The commission resorted to a direct and urgent application to the apex court due to “weighty constitutional matters” that include balancing rights enshrined in the constitution.
“This court application is extraordinary and presumably unprecedented. The issues which are core to the application have a bearing on the political rights of citizens as well as the right to life, bodily and psychological integrity and access to health,” IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini said on Wednesday.

Mashinini said there was also a need for certainty regarding preparations for municipal elections.
His remarks come hours after co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma proclaimed Oct. 27 as the date for the local government polls. However, this was to meet statutory and constitutional obligations which could change pending a decision by the Constitutional Court.

Dlamini-Zuma’s proclamation has several implications for the work of the IEC. These include closing the voters’ roll for Oct. 27, meaning no new voters may be admitted to the roll for the proclaimed election date. It forces the commission to forge ahead with some of its activities in terms of the timetable until the apex court orders differently.

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