IEC wants Constitutional Court to defer elections to February 2022

The Electoral Commission has officially launched a bid in the Constitutional Court to postpone the fifth local government elections.

2021-08-04 02:50:00 PM

The Electoral Commission has officially launched a bid in the Constitutional Court to postpone the fifth local government elections.

The Electoral Commission has officially launched a bid in the Constitutional Court to postpone the fifth local government elections.

It also opens the candidate nomination process and for registered political parties and independent candidates to submit their lists of candidates and nomination documents for this year’s elections.  “The commission and electoral stakeholders are in an untenable position where preparations are proceeding for Oct. 27 while at the same anticipating the outcome of the Constitutional Court application for a possible deferral of elections to February 2022.

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“The nature of the relief sought by the commission is largely predicated on impossibility to perform a constitutional obligation, which is the conduct of constitutionally compliant elections of municipal councils by Nov. 1, 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures government has instituted to curb the spread of the virus,” said Mashinini. 

Mashinini said while the constitution stipulates that when the five-year term of a municipal council expires and an election must be held within 90 days of the date on which that council’s term expired, the commission sought permission to be allowed to conduct elections beyond the 90 day time frame. This was because the current term expires in August, with the 90 days lapsing in November. headtopics.com

“Furthermore, the commission is seeking alternative relief in the event it is not successful with its preferred option. The alternative relief essentially asks the Constitutional Court to declare that failure to hold the municipal elections by Nov. 1, 2021 is unconstitutional and invalid and suspending the declaration of invalidity until the end of February 2022.”  

If the court does not grant the extension, local government and municipal councillors stop functioning and being paid. The IEC said it would ask the apex court to prevent this happening.To avoid uncertainty about the legal status of current municipal councils, the commission seeks an order that the municipal councils remain competent until newly elected councils are declared elected

Glen Mashinini, Electoral Commission chairperson“To avoid uncertainty about the legal status of current municipal councils, the commission seeks an order that the municipal councils remain competent until newly elected councils are declared elected,” said Mashinini.  

Mashinini said the commission was also asking the court to take supervisory jurisdiction, requiring the commission to report to the court periodically on its progress in arranging constitutionally compliant local government elections in February 2022. headtopics.com

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“The application will undoubtedly offer the Constitutional Court another opportunity to contribute to the evolving jurisprudence of our constitutional order.”Reacting to the proclamation, the ANC said it would file a submission supporting the IEC  application to the Constitutional Court.

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