Smaller parties submitted longer lists to IEC

Smaller political parties have submitted longer lists to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) for this year’s Local Government Elections.

The National Freedom Party (NFP), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and United Democratic Movement (UDM) say they are all expecting windfalls because of the current political climate and because of that they have cast their nets wider than normal.

Most parties submitted their lists electronically in a scramble to meet the IEC deadline on Thursday.

Smaller political parties are betting on discontent engulfing the country to turn around their fortunes.

“We have entered for the election in most of the provinces and many wards in almost 9 or 8 provinces in the country. Our net is thrown wide even wider than 2011 local election, we are now 5 years-old and we have deemed it fit to enter for almost all wards,” says General Secretary of the NFP, Professor Nhlanhla Khubisa.

The party’s closest rival the IFP is also counting its chickens. The party’s deputy national spokesperson Mbongeleni Mazibuko says the NFP is no longer a big threat as it was in the last election.

Mazibuko says some of their councillors have come back to the IFP from the NFP.

He says the political climate currently is also helping their cause.

“We have a track record, we are the only stable party relatively speaking in areas like Free State. We have more than 20 councillors ,Western Cape has 7, Limpopo 10 to 15,  North West and other areas we have people standing for the IFP so we are bound to do better,” says Mazibuko.

The UDM is optimistic and cautious. The party will not be contesting in the Northern Cape and Free State but they will be spreading their wings further in the North West.

Treasurer General Thandi Nontenji says they expect better numbers this time around.

“We are hoping to get more councillors this time around because of what we have seen on the ground and the people that are joining the UDM because some of the candidates we fielded are new and they are hoping to contest wards in their areas, we are hoping to field new councillors,” says Nontenjie.

The IEC says most parties opted for the online registration process which was introduced for the first time for these elections.

Spokesperson Kate Bapela says now the organisation is verifying documents and will go back to the parties in two weeks if they have any queries.

This process will end on June 20 and is in preparation of printing of ballot papers.

“We check independent candidates we check candidates submitted from parties to ensure all the documents comply with the electoral act the last date is 1 July. By then we will know everything has been said and done all the documents have been complied with, all the verifications have been done. Everything has been triple checked remember after the 1st of July immediately we go into the process of printing ballot papers,” says Bapela.

The IEC has 529 parties registered but it will only become clear how many are contesting the August 3rd polls after completing the verification process.

  • By Angela Bolowana


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