The deputy Secretary General of the African National Congress (ANC) Jessie Duarte has said the governing party rejects the accusations that it had influenced the independent electoral commission (IEC) ahead of its decision announced on Monday that the nominations for candidates to stand for the local government elections will be reopened.
The IEC announced the decision on Monday following the Constitutional Court’s (ConCourt’s) dismissal of the commission’s application to postpone the elections.
The IEC announced that a voter registration weekend will be scheduled for the weekend of 18 and 19 September 2021 and thereafter all political parties and independent candidates will be allowed an opportunity to nominate candidates after the voter registration weekend and the voters’ roll has been closed.
Briefing the media on Tuesday on the outcomes of the three day special national executive committee (NEC) Lekgotla, Duarte also rejected accusations that the ANC had influenced the ConCourt on its order handed down last Friday, 3 September 2021.
Duarte said the ANC does not have the ability to influence either the ConCourt or the IEC and that like all other parties, it learned on Monday about the commission’s decision to reopen the nomination of candidates.
The ANC agrees with the IEC that voter registration should be reopened along with the nomination of candidates because registered voters have the right to stand for elections, Duarte said.
In the previous round of candidate nominations, in 35 municipalities the ANC had candidates who were not registered on the IEC’s system, Duarte said, adding that “it’s not the IEC’s fault” but that the party had had last minute difficulties and administrative challenges.
Duarte said the ANC decided to withdraw its electoral court bid to reopen the registration for candidates after it had analyzed the issues it faced.
The ANC deputy SG said the governing party did not lobby and argue for the registration for candidates to be reopened either publicly, in the media or before the Monday national party liaison committee (PLC) meeting with the IEC but had only presented its argument at the PLC where other political parties were present.
In response to a question whether the ANC would oppose the proposed legal action by some political parties to challenge the IEC’s decision, Duarte said the ANC will oppose any legal action that is counterproductive to the country’s democracy.
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