Just over 59 000 candidates have signed up with the Electoral Commission (IEC) to contest the 2021 Local Government Elections (LGE) according to the IEC’s preliminary records. The IEC briefed the media on Tuesday.
Political parties and independent candidates had until 9 pm on Monday to submit their nomination lists and prescribed election deposits to the IEC.
This deadline was in line with the timetable for elections scheduled for the 27th of October. Only registered parties may contest elections, with 480 parties currently registered in the country.
The IEC says it has collected R7 million in election deposits through the candidate nomination process. The Commission says 74 candidates from four parties missed the 9 pm deadline to submit their nominations. This is after the IEC had extended the deadline by an additional four hours, a decision that raised a few eyebrows.
“The four hours was granted to all parties and not directed to one party was there consultation not formal in terms of a Party Liaison Committee (PLC) process but certainly at least three leaders of parties had made contact with me about the possibility of extension” Sy Mamabolo explains.
Despite the extension, Mamabolo says that there was a scramble as the deadline approached and even after.
“We received many requests for a further extension and regrettably, we were unable to accede to that request. Even as late as this morning, there are further requests formally made to the Commission to consider an additional two days at least to allow for corrections to be made to lists and for supplementation to happen and so on. So the commission will look at that but if the election date of the 27th is to be realised, then the scope for the Commission to play around is quite limited” says Sy Mamabolo.
Video: Electoral Commission releases preliminary report on the outcome of the candidate nomination process
Approximately 59 000 candidates registered
It says it is currently capturing the manual nominations received at its local offices. It says the approximately 59 000 candidates registered this year, compares favourably to the 63 000 that competed in the 2016 local elections.
Electoral Commission CEO Sy Mamabolo gave details of this year’s numbers.
“The total number of municipal council seats being contested in this year’s election is 10 285. There are 276 unique political parties that submitted candidates of which two are contesting in all 257 municipalities in the country. The total number of independents currently capture is 944. In 2016 there were 855 independent candidates.” says Electoral Commission CEO Sy Mamabolo.
Protest at IEC’s Centurion Headquarters
Mamabolo explained that the protest at the IEC’s Centurion Headquarters during the day was staged by several African National Congress (ANC) party members aggrieved at the party’s candidate selection processes.
“We got in touch with the PLC representatives of the ANC to say this is really unacceptable. The IEC is not mandated to deal with internal party matters and we were calling on the ANC to resolve its own internal party issues” Sy Mamabolo added.
Constitutional Court judgment & election timetable
The Electoral Commission says it hopes to have a judgment from the Constitutional Court (Concourt) on the 31st of August as to whether or not local elections will be deferred to February next year. Mamabolo says in the meantime, the IEC is proceeding with its election preparations based on the gazetted date of the 27th of October.
“If we are successful in the Concourt, indeed we will have to republish another timetable and in terms of the election timetable, there would have to be a new candidate nomination election date together with other processes that under gird the election timetable. Will there be a registration weekend before the 27th of October? It is not possible if we have to proceed on the 27th. It will be on the basis of the voters roll as it stood on the 23rd of August when the Minister proclaimed the election date, ” Mamabolo said.
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