Dodgy list: IEC drags IFP to Concourt

2011-04-20 00:00

THE Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is taking the IFP to the Constitutional Court after the party committed a series of blunders in the submission of its candidates’ list for the Umzumbe Municipality on the South Coast.

IEC chief electoral officer advocate Pansy Tlakula said in court papers submitted on an urgent basis to Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo yesterday morning that the matter is of national importance

The IEC has to know how to handle situations like the one at Umzumbe in the future when a political party’s candidates’ lists are submitted late because of the cumulative effect of circumstances such as errors, bad weather conditions and inadequate transport.

These are the reasons put forward to the electoral court by the IFP for the late submission of its Umzumbe candidates’ list. The wrong lists were inadvertently sent to the wrong places. When the mistake was discovered, returning the documents — it was unclear whether they should have been returned to the IFP or the IEC — was delayed because of bad weather and transport problems.

The IEC eventually refused to accept the IFP’s problems as valid reasons and refused to accept the party’s candidates’ list for the municipal district.

However, the IFP took the matter to the electoral court, which ordered the IEC to accept the IFP’s list for Umzumbe.

The IEC is now appealing against the order in the Constitutional Court.

Among other things, Tlakula is arguing that the IFP waited until very last minute of the deadline date to submit its list, “which is probably what led to the faulty documents”, and so is itself responsible for its problems.

Ngcobo is considering the application.

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