The Electoral Resource Center (ERC) has criticized ZEC for suspending elections without authority from a competent court, Newsday reports.
ERC released a statement and stated that ZEC is not empowered to continually postpone electoral activities via press releases:
While welcoming the efforts of the government in the fight against COVID-19, Zec must be compliant with the law in arriving at any suspension of electoral activities.
Constitutionally, Zec is not empowered to continually postpone electoral activities via Press releases. The continued suspension of all electoral activities, devoid of the adherence to laws which qualify the suspension of electoral activities is constitutional defiance.
Any suspension of electoral activities must be sought by Zec through a court order justifying the continued suspension of electoral activities.
The neighbouring Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa recently stated that the lockdown restrictions curtailed political activity, imperilling the freeness and fairness of the elections, which forced the IEC to seek the court’s approval in postponing by-elections, following consultations with political parties.
Transparency, accountability and credibility should underline all the actions undertaken by Zec. Electoral rights are sacrosanct to principles of democracy and due process ought to be respected when limiting them. ERC urges Zec to take the aforementioned calls
ZEC which requested more money to hold by-elections, on 7 January released a press statement stating that elections were going to be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.