Apex court dismisses IEC bid to postpone polls

2021-Sep-03   07:06

Apex court dismisses IEC bid to postpone polls
Court dismisses IEC application
Source: SAPS / Twitter

- Gomolemo Mothomogolo

The Constitutional Court has dismissed the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC's) application to postpone the upcoming local government elections. 

The Apex Court delivered the judgement electronically late Friday afternoon, ordering the electoral commission to hold elections any day between 27 October and 1 November this year.  

“The electoral commission to organize a new voter registration weekend to ensure voters who missed out may get registered.  

“IEC must within three calendar days from the date of this order determine if it's practically possible to hold voter registration weekend,” said the Apex court order. 

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs,  Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, must also issue another proclamation no earlier than 1 September to ensure that the new election date is documented.  

The IEC had sought to get the polls postponed to February next year after a report it commissioned suggested that the country would not be able to hold free and fair in the current COVID-19 environment.

Retired former Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke, led the inquiry into the feasibility of holding elections on 27 Octoberthis year. 

Moseneke said the COVID-19 regulations would have a negative impact on campaigning, especially for “smaller, less resourced political parties and independent candidates” while well-resourced parties would be in a better position to engage voters. 

His report also found that the election should be postponed to no later than February 2022 as more people would be vaccinated against COVID-19 compared to if they were held in October.

The Democratic Alliance was opposing the IEC's bid, which was supported by the African National Congress.

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