The Democratic Alliance (DA) says “it strongly opposes” the African National Congress’ (ANC) application to the Electoral Court seeking to compel the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to reopen its candidate list system.
The ANC has indicated that it experienced numerous technical problems with the IEC’s registration system, which prevented the party from registering some of its candidates in 30 municipalities.
“This reasoning holds no water, considering that the DA and many other political parties successfully submitted their full candidate lists without reporting any serious technical problems,” said the party in a statement issued on Friday by its IEC Representative, Werner Horn.
“Political parties knew since 6 July 2021 that the final date for submission would be 23 August 2021.
“The IEC cannot bend to the will of the ANC and must therefore oppose this frivolous application.
“Indeed, for the sake of consistency, the IEC should vigorously oppose the ANC’s application — on the basis of past precedent.”
The DA said it was important to recall that the IEC previously barred candidates from the National Freedom Party from contesting the 2016 Local Government Elections after the party failed to pay its registration fees on time.
The DA also pointed to the Inkatha Freedom Party case of 2011, when it did not submit candidates in time for Umzumbe.
The matter was taken right up to the Constitutional Court, where the IEC’s deadline was confirmed as final.
“Non-compliance with the election timetable cannot be condoned, in order to ensure free and fair elections,” said the DA.
“This principle applies to the ANC just as it applies to every other party, and it would be a very serious violation of this principle if the IEC appears to be bending the rules to suit the ANC.”
Earlier the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said it would oppose any move by the ANC to reopen the registration process.
“We call on the Independent Electoral Commission to oppose the ANC’s application in order to protect its integrity,” said the EFF.
“The IEC publicly opened for nomination of councillor candidates on the 3rd of August 2021 for all political parties and independent candidates seeking to contest in the local government elections.”
The EFF said no political party “including the ANC” objected to the IEC elections timetable.
“It is therefore opportunistic and unacceptable of the ANC, which knew of the election date before all political parties to approach the Electoral Court to accommodate their incompetence and inability to meet deadlines because of internal infighting and factionalism,” said the fighters.
However, General Bantu Holomisa’s United Democratic Movement (UDM) says it will join the ANC to approach the electoral court for the re-opening of the registration of election candidates.
The UDM complained that it experienced registration problems with the IEC electronic system.