IEC to oppose ATC bid in the Electoral Court to have ATM deregistered from elections

2019-05-02 14:25
ATM Logo. (File)

The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) says it will "strongly oppose" a bid from breakaway group African Transformation Council (ATC) which has called for its parent party, the African Transformation Movement (ATM) to be de-registered.

The commission announced during a state of readiness briefing on Thursday that it received court papers from the ATC which has approached the Electoral Court calling for it to review and set aside a decision by the chief electoral officer to register ATM as a party.  

IEC deputy CEO Masego Shiburi said it is yet to study the contents of the court papers brought by the ATC.

READ: ATM 'remains unshaken' by claims that it was registered fraudulently

"The party (ATC) has approached the Electoral Court to ask for relief in the following terms, that the Chief Electoral Office erred in registering ATM as a party. We have just received the papers and we will consider them," Shiburi said.

In April The ATC had written to the IEC claiming that the ATM's leadership had established the party fraudulently, and therefore the party should not be registered with the IEC.

Shiburi said while the commission will abide with court processes, it would oppose the application.

The ATM was established in 2018 by the South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ (SACMCC) and was formally registered by the IEC. Initially, the party was named the African Transformation Congress (ATC), but after consultation with the IEC, the "Congress" was replaced with "Movement" to avoid confusion with other party names.

FF Plus vs BLF

Referring to the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) and Black First Land First (BLF) court case, Shiburi said the commission will consider the court's ruling.

On Monday the Electoral Court ruled that the IEC had failed to publish the BLF's registration in the Government Gazette.

This was after the FF Plus had approached the court in its bid to have the BLF de-registered from the elections. 

Constitutional Court case on Independent Candidates

In terms of independent candidates, the commission said it would abide by the Constitutional Court's ruling, which is yet to be made.

"As we have expressed in our court papers, it will not be possible for us to reprint the ballot papers in time for May 8," said IEC vice-chair Janet Love.

"We think it is a significant issue and I think we have advanced our indication in those papers, particularly in relation to the way that the preparations for these elections are at an advanced stage."

Notwithstanding the significance of the issue, the matter needed to be ventilated in court, she added.

ALSO READ: Why the New Nation Movement is asking the Constitutional Court to postpone May 8 election

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