IEC says it will clear backlogs, by-elections will be free and fair
The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has announced that it will clear the backlog of all outstanding by-elections in November.
The by-elections will be the first real test as to how voters will react to political parties after the lockdown.
Deputy chief electoral officer: electoral matters at Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Masego Sheburi explained that the by-elections should be done within a space of six months before the general elections of the municipal council.
By-elections cannot be called if we are left with less than six months to the general elections of the municipal council, so how you determine that period, you first need to establish when the general local elections will be held and in this instance, it will be on the 3rd of August and no later than the 2nd of November.Masego Sheburi, IEC deputy chief electoral officer: electoral matters
The IEC will hold by-elections in 96 wards and 56 municipalities across the country. This follows the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa to move to alert level 1 which included the lifting of restrictions on political activities.
Sheburi says when the country was under lockdown 5 and 2 the staff of the commission went to the Electoral Court to ask for a postponement of the by-elections but since Ramaphosa made the announcement of moving to level 1 they have decided to not postpone as the lockdown restrictions are not as strict and allow for the elections to be free and fair to every citizen.
Now that political activity is permitted and is protected under the regulations, we think that the environment has changed and that the commission can guarantee that by-elections could pass the free and fairness mandate.Masego Sheburi, IEC deputy chief electoral officer: electoral matters
Public affairs director at Ipsos Mari Harris joined the conversation emphasising the importance of by-elections and that citizens should keep in mind that the by-elections are not predictions of the election outcome.
It depends on where they are and how close are the general elections.Mari Harris, Public Affairs Director- Ipsos
I think all the parties need to take a deep hard look at themselves and think why they are in politics and whether they are of the interest of the voters and for the country.Mari Harris, Public Affairs Director- Ipsos
Listen below for the full interview...
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