IEC elections still on track

2016-06-16 06:00

Going to elections with a voters roll deemed “unlawful” by the Constitutional Court would not be enough to derail the elections.

Phephelaphi Dube, director at the Centre for Constitutional Rights, said the August 3 local government elections could still be free and fair.

This follows a judgment by the Constitutional Court on Tuesday which gave the go-ahead for the elections to go ahead, even though 12 million names lacked proof of address.

The Independent Electoral Commission was given 18 months by the court to correct this. Dube said the court could not stop the elections from going ahead because it “was mindful of the separation of powers.

Postponing the August elections would have meant encroaching on powers of legislature.

So the suspension of the validity of the declaration is a pragmatic solution to an otherwise political quagmire,” she said.

She said a valid voters’ roll was not the only measure of free and fair elections. “It is but one, dare I say, not so important consideration.

Other factors include conduct of political parties before elections and on election day, the ability of political parties to canvas for votes without intimidation, the ability of the state broadcaster to fairly cover political party campaigns etc.”

Dube said in a media release that the centre welcomed the Constitutional Court decision in the case on Tuesday in which the IEC appealed the electoral court’s earlier decision to postpone by-elections in Tlokwe over irregularities on names in the voters’ roll.

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