ANC files court papers to force the IEC to reopen candidate registration list

This after it failed to meet last week’s deadline for the submissions of its candidates to contest the upcoming local government polls across some of its key municipalities.

A founding affidavit and letter by ANC deputy secretary Jessie Duarte argues that the party had long asked for an extension of the IEC’s timetable. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) has filed papers against the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in a bid to force the reopening of the candidate registration list.

It failed to meet last week’s deadline for the submissions of its candidates to contest the upcoming local government polls across some of its key municipalities.

In the nearly 200-page document, which Eyewitness News has seen on Tuesday, the governing party requests an order to compel the IEC to amend its timetable or make provision for an additional 36 hours for the submission of party lists.

It also asks for time for candidate registrations and deposit payments.

The ANC has finally launched its legal bid to challenge being left out in the cold by the IEC due to its failure to meet the commission’s deadlines.

In the documents, the party goes to great lengths to explain why it failed to submit its candidates on time, blaming COVID regulations, which bounced between the complete ban of political activity and limiting gatherings to only 50.

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A founding affidavit and letter by ANC deputy secretary Jessie Duarte argues that the party had long asked for an extension of the IEC’s timetable.

She admits while there was more time for parties to campaign this year, COVID-19 simply made this impossible.

The ANC also claims the IEC’s refusal to allow for its timetable to be amended goes against the spirit of free and fair elections.

The upcoming polls may shift if the Constitutional Court grants the IEC a deference, which then allows for a whole new election cycle to kick in, automatically granting the ANC the reprieve it seeks.

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