DA to legally oppose IEC’s bid to postpone local govt elections

The IEC filed papers at the Constitutional Court last week, saying conditions under the COVID-19 pandemic were not conducive to being free and fair.

FILE: DA Federal Council chairperson Helen Zille. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday said it would go to court to oppose the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) bid to have the local government elections postponed from October to February next year.

The IEC filed papers at the Constitutional Court last week, saying conditions under the COVID-19 pandemic were not conducive to being free and fair.

READ: Moseneke finds local elections will not be free & fair if held in Oct

But DA Federal Council chairperson Helen Zille said none of the IEC’s reasons for asking for a postponement of the polls held water.

She has outlined the party’s legal action against the IEC’s Constitutional Court application.

Zille said an election was not like a braai that could simply be postponed because of bad weather.

She said regular, free and fair elections were part of the foundational clauses of the Constitution and as such would require a super-majority of 75% in Parliament to be amended.

ALSO READ: Dlamini-Zuma: Oct elections will be postponed only after ConCourt ruling

Zille pointed fingers at the African National Congress, which is backing the IEC’s bid for a deferred poll.

“The ANC realising that it could not get a 75% majority in Parliament has sought another – in our view, an unconstitutional way – to get the postponement that it wants.”

Zille said the Constitutional Court’s job was to defend – and not to amend – the Constitution.

“It would also be unconstitutional to try and postpone the election under the Constitution because that would require an amendment to the Constitution or at the very least a suspension of the Constitution which the Constitutional Court has no right to give.”

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