'It's not the right time to vote' - one party on why it's not contesting this election

2019-04-07 22:20
South Africa's 2019 elections logo. Picture: Palesa Dlamini

South Africa's 2019 elections logo. Picture: Palesa Dlamini

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While various political parties across the spectrum are gearing up to fight for a place in the national legislature or to represent voters provincially, one party wants the elections to be postponed.

Party of Action (POA), a political party registered with Electoral Commission of SA (IEC), made the decision to withdraw its name from the list of parties vying for South Africans' votes to focus on tackling what it considers to be the root causes of continued economic oppression.

"We want to stage a revolution. Millions of people don't want to vote. We are saying it's not the right time to vote. We need an African political system," POA president Billy Nyaku told News24.

"If parties care about escalating levels of poverty, escalating levels of inequality, escalating levels of corruption, then we need to postpone the elections."

He called on other parties who claim to be revolutionary to consider following suit.

'Failing system'

"Political parties that claim to be revolutionary, as president of POA, I say [that] you cannot be part of a failing system. Pull back. Take yourself out of the elections. We [must] devise a new method that will cater to all South Africans. Black [and] white [South Africans] must benefit from this system. Revolution happens when you take the bull by its horns," Nyaku argued.

"We are officially launching economic war against those who are in power, those who steal money from the poor," he said. 

The POA president stated: "We know the ANC is still going to be in power [after the elections]."

Numerous polls undertaken by organisations, such as Ipsos and the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR), support this claim.

Referring to the millions of social grant recipients, Nyaku stated: "Any party that tries to topple [the] ANC will fail."

"Poor people will always vote for the ANC because of social grants. Out of desperation people vote for them."

Nyaku claimed his party membership was 300 000 strong and arrived at the decision to not contest the latest elections as "electoral seats are predetermined".

'Foreign system'

He added that despite this anticipated electoral outcome, no substantive change would come as "Political parties are operating on a foreign-designed political system."

"We need to sit down around the table with all these organisations. We need multi-party negotiations for a new political system [in] the same way the Constitution was developed."

Questioned about ideology, principles and plans, Nyaku explained that the POA had nothing short of a comprehensive overhaul and reconfiguration of the political system in mind.

"We need a new African political system" that "incorporates kings and tribes and an equitable share of the land," Nyaku said. He added that this new political system would "contest for the Presidency", something not possible under the current closed-list proportional representation electoral system.

Support 

Detailing some of the work that has been done to redesign the political system, Nyaku said the POA have "officially engaged the New Nation Movement to lend support".

News24 previously reported that New Nation Movement, a non-partisan civic group, is in court arguing for the rights of individuals to stand for elections. It wants an amendment of the Electoral Act.

Currently, the act makes no provisions on which constituency an independent could represent, or how seats would be allocated in the National Assembly (should a candidate wish to run).

The Electoral Act further says that a citizen needs to be a member of a political party to hold national or provincial office, yet the Constitution makes no such demand.

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Read more on:    poa  |  politics  |  elections 2019
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