South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ZNC) has withdrawn an application with the Electoral Court which sought an order that directs the Independent Electoral Commission to amend the electoral timetable.
The ANC also wanted the Independent Electoral Commission to reopen the opportunity to register candidates in terms of Section 11(2)(a) of the Local Government: Municipal Electoral Act. Pindula News presents the ANC statement dated 1 September 2021 on the withdrawal of the application.
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ANC STATEMENT ON THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE ELECTORAL COURT APPLICATION
On 26 August 2021, the African National Congress indicated that it would lodge an application with the Electoral Court requesting it to order the Independent Electoral Commission to amend the electoral timetable and reopen the opportunity to register candidates in terms of Section 11(2)(a) of the Local Government: Municipal Electoral Act.
We did so after a number of parties failed to register all their candidates for local government elections. This failure was due to a combination of technical challenges on the IEC’s online candidate registration system and the pressure placed on candidate selection by restrictions on meetings to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. These factors led former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke to conclude that it would not be possible to hold free and fair elections on 27 October 2021. These factors. and this conclusion, led the IEC to approach the Constitutional Court to extend the deadline by which to hold local government elections.
The ANC sought to follow the most rigorous, inclusive and participatory process to identify candidates that would enjoy the confidence of the people and represent them with integrity, commitment and competence to improve service delivery and create a better life for all.
We brought this application to protect the rights of hundreds of thousands of citizens who will be deprived of the right to vote for a candidate of their choice as a result of the inability of the party of their choice to register its candidates.
As a majority party in government at national, provincial and local level, and a leader of society, the ANC has a broader responsibility to protect, strengthen and deepen our system of multiparty democracy, a system which constitutes one of the foundational provisions of our Constitution.
Accordingly, in view of the fact that the matter is before the Constitutional Court, the ANC has decided to withdraw its application and to await the judgment of the Court.
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