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IEC won’t be drawn on possibility of early elections

South Africans are set to head to the polls in national and provincial elections in 2019.

The Independent Electoral Commission on 29 May briefed Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on its preparations for the 2019 national and provincial elections. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairperson Glen Mashinini says it will be irresponsible for him to speculate on the possibility of an early election being called.

South Africans are set to head to the polls in national and provincial elections in 2019.

The IEC has told Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee it is planning for the elections to take place at any time between 8 May and 7 August.

The Constitution says elections must take place within 90 days of the current five-year term of Parliament and the provincial legislatures expiring, which happens on 8 May 2019.

Mashinini won’t be drawn on the possibility of early elections.

“No, I don’t think I want to be speculating, it will be irresponsible for me to raise any sensational speculation on this critical issue.”

Mashinini says the IEC will be meeting President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday.

“It’s the routine consultative process required constitutionally between the commission and the head of state in the determination of the electoral timetable.”

Mashinini says the Constitution clearly sets out the timetable.

“On 8 May, one minute past midnight, we as the commission, from our planning point of view, we should be ready to deliver an election.”

He says anything else is “a political and not an electoral matter” – and the IEC will not comment.

VOTERS’ ADDRESSES

The IEC has asked the Constitutional Court for a 17-month extension to its end of June deadline for the IEC to record voters’ addresses.

IEC senior manager in charge of electoral matters, Granville Abrahams, says the commission approached the Constitutional Court on 21 May.

“The commission has applied for an extension of 17 months to the ConCourt – that application was launched early last week.”

Abrahams says the IEC has made substantial progress in carrying out the Constitutional Court’s order.

“The voters without addresses, that the court has identified for us, are currently sitting at less than 3%. We’ve also increased complete addresses from 34% to 72% and it’s likely to increase to 78% once we’ve completed our current projects.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)