The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has clapped back at ActionSA over its threatened court action regarding the omission of the party’s name on ballots, saying the onus to choose party identifiers rests with them.
ActionSA this week said it was taking its complaint to court to compel the IEC to include its name in the space allocated for party abbreviated names.
Responding to the court threat, the IEC said ActionSA did not provide an abbreviation of its party name when it registered for the 1 November local government elections.
“The absence of the abbreviated name of ActionSA on the ward ballots is because, at the point of registering as a party, ActionSA elected not to register an abbreviated name or acronym,” said the IEC.
The use of registered particulars of a political party in the ballot paper design was intended to obviate ad hoc and arbitrary considerations, explained the IEC.
The unique identifiers are provided by each political party at the point of application for registration as a party.
The identifiers include the name of the candidate, photo in case of an independent candidate, the logo (or distinguishing mark) of the party, and the abbreviated name of the party, where one has been registered.
The IEC said it was empowered to determine the design of ballot papers to be used in an election, adding that it was the responsibility of the party to register whatever details and identifiers it deems appropriate.
Dismissing ActionSA’s suggestions that it had it in for the party, the IEC said: “The insinuation that the commission is acting without due impartiality is without foundation and mischievous.
“There are 14 other political parties that appear on the various ballot papers without abbreviated names.”