IEC defends move to reopen candidate registrations for municipal polls

IEC deputy commissioner, Janet Love, has counter-accused the commission’s critics of having a selective memory, saying that the decision was not meant to discriminate or favour any political party.

Picture: Cindy Archillies/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has defended its decision to reopen candidate registrations for the local government elections in the face of increasing criticism and threats of legal action.

IEC deputy commissioner, Janet Love, has counter-accused the commission’s critics of having a selective memory, saying that the decision was not meant to discriminate or favour any political party.

Opposition parties believe that the IEC’s decision is meant to give the African National Congress (ANC) a reprieve after the party failed to register 93 municipalities in the initial window of submissions which closed on 23 August.

Love said that the current situation was not ideal for the commission too but it had to prioritise the choice of voters.

"It is a decision that is to enable everybody and I think that that's really something that as a commission we really want to convey very clearly, very very strongly, regardless of what narratives there are and regardless of what kind of selective memory is part of those narratives."

She explained why the commission believed that political parties which were opposed to the move were not being objective.

"A number of the organisations that have expressed themselves in the party liaison committee as being in support of what the commission is proposing to do are doing it on the basis that they too have had candidates not accepted."

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