IEC chief’s objections go to electoral court

The Electoral Court will decide on the eligibility of election candidates who do not appear on the voters’ roll, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) head said on Monday.

The IEC’s chief electoral officer advocate Pansy Tlakula had objected to certain candidates, but the decision was overturned by the commission. IEC commissioners had disagreed with Tlakula’s decision.

The matter had now been referred to the Electoral Court for clarity.

Tlakula said being ”qualified to vote” was one of the criteria for appearing on a candidate list to represent a particular party in government.

”A person qualified to stand is a person who is qualified to vote and you are not qualified to vote if you are not registered,” she said.

Tlakula objected to 297 candidates from 28 parties. A total of 110 of these did not appear on the voters’ roll.

The Electoral Act did not stipulate whether a candidate should be registered or not.

”The commission wants the court to clarify sections of the Constitution and those of the Electoral Act which are not in sync on whether a non-registered citizen can be eligible for nomination onto the party list to be a member of Parliament or a provincial legislature,” the IEC said.

The CEO and commissioners were in agreement on the necessity for clarity in the matter of eligibility for candidacy in an election.

The Electoral Court had until Tuesday to decide on the matter.

Tlakula said the matter was not about IEC management and the commission disagreeing. According to Section 30 of the Electoral Act anyone could object to the nomination of a candidate, including the electoral officer. — Sapa

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