The ANC has withdrawn its legal bid to have the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) reopen its candidate submission process for the 2021 Local Government Elections.
The governing party said in a statement it has decided to rather wait for the Constitutional Court ruling in the IEC’s application in which it seeks to have the polls postponed. Without explaining exactly how, the ANC claims its pursuit of a second chance to submit a complete candidate list is part of efforts to “protect the rights of voters”.
“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,” reads the statement.
The party added that as a ruling party it carried the hopes of the majority of people and its inability to participate in municipal elections in about 100 wards would violate voters' right to vote for a party and or candidate of their choice.
“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," said the ANC.
The ANC’s candidate list problems come at a time when the IEC’s credibility is under scrutiny with EFF Leader Julius Malema accusing it of aiding the ruling party.
“The IEC postponed the deadline because the ANC could not meet the deadline of 5 O'Clock. There is no party in SA called ‘several political parties'.
"IEC should have been transparent from the beginning and said ‘the following parties have requested that we postpone,” said Malema during a recent media briefing.