The Constitutional Court has dismissed the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) bid to reverse the reopening of the candidate registration process for the November local government elections.
The DA filed an urgent court application challenging the reopening of the candidate submission process, citing wrong interpretation of the recent Constitutional Court judgment by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). The DA also charged that the reopening would favour the African National Congress (ANC), which had failed to register candidates in 93 municipalities by the previous deadline.
The recent ConCourt order had dismissed the Commission’s attempt to postpone the election. It had also set aside the proclamation date of 27 October as election day and ordered the Commission to hold an additional voter registration weekend.
After this judgement, the IEC reopened the candidate submission process, saying it is allowed to make amendments to the election timetable. This was opposed by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).
The highest court in the land set the record straight when it delivered the judgment electronically on Monday, stating that the IEC had the powers to amend the election timetable in terms of the Electoral Act.
“When that power is lawfully exercised, it inevitably changes the deadlines, in which event there must be compliance with the amended deadlines," the ConCourt said.
“Self-evidently, it would be improper for the Commission to exercise its power of amendment in order to favour one particular party, but on the papers we cannot find that the Commission’s proposed amendment will be vitiated on this basis,” said the judgment.