Mixed emotions over Tlokwe elections
Wed, 06 Apr 2016 13:13:00
The independent candidates in Tlokwe say they have no objection to the postponement of the by-elections to the same day as the municipal elections.
However, this is strictly on the condition that the municipal re-demarcation is halted.
The candidates complained that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) failed to disclose the effect of this re-demarcation process in their Constitutional Court application.
The municipal elections will be held on 3 August 2016.
The candidates argue that the right to vote cannot trump the constitutional guarantee of free and fair elections. They say that unless the IEC immediately corrects defects in the voter’s roll, there is a real risk that future elections will not be free and fair.
Using voters ID numbers, in cases where no addresses were listed, the candidates found that some voters were not even residents of the contested wards, creating a threat of voters being bussed in.
In their opposing papers, they say that they are open to a postponement of the by-elections provided that the IEC gives an assurance that ward re-demarcations will be halted.
The ANC says it is 100% behind the IEC in their urgent Constitutional Court application
Meanwhile, the governing African National Congress (ANC) agrees with the Independent Electoral Commission that a recent Electoral Court decision in the Tlokwe-by elections in Potchefstroom will leave the IEC, political parties and the public in a “catastrophic position”.
This is contained in an affidavit to the Constitutional Court penned by ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe. He says this means that either elections do not take place or will take place on an unverified voters roll.
The ANC says it is 100% behind the IEC in their urgent Constitutional Court application. The governing party says the electoral court judgment could mean that millions of voters are disenfranchised simply because their addresses are not reflected on the voters roll.
The ANC referred to a recent decision by the Constitutional Court which overturned the 2013 by-elections in Tlokwe.
They say that the Electoral Court wrongly interpreted that judgment, and that the interpretation now holds dangerous implications even for the national voters roll.
The Constitutional Court will hear arguments on May 9. Click here for Tlokwe elections related articles:
– By Candice Nolan