IEC: ActionSA can't expect differential treatment

In its argument on Thursday before the Electoral Court in the hearing brought by ActionSA, the commission stated that the party chose not to register its abbreviated name and should not expect the IEC to interfere with that.

FILE: ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba (centre) makes a point during an engagement in Dobsonville on 11 October 2021. Picture: @Action4SA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said it could not make de facto decisions reviewing its rules just for one political party.

In its argument on Thursday before the Electoral Court in the hearing brought by ActionSA, the commission stated that the party chose not to register its abbreviated name and should not expect the IEC to interfere with that.

ActionSA has taken the commission to court after its name was omitted from the ward ballot papers after it left the space requiring an abbreviated name empty when registering.

The IEC said its requirement for an abbreviated name of political parties for the ward ballot was nothing unusual.
It said no one had complained about the rule before.

The IEC said ActionSA’s challenge against the design of the ballot must fail as their decision was lawful and constitutional.

IEC lawyer advocate Michael Bishop said: “What is really at heart of this case is that the applicant seeks differential treatment from the commission. So, it accepts that the commission was entitled to use only abbreviated names for most parties, and it must be so because the full names would not fit. But its argument is that, because its full name is only eight letters long, it should be treated differently.”

ActionSA has argued that its name does fit the technical description of eight characters and therefore does not need an abbreviated name on the paper.

It added that it would be prejudiced at the polls should the IEC not be ordered to reflect its full name on the ward ballot papers.

The party presented its case before the electoral court on Thursday morning after the IEC omitted its name on the ballot and only reflected its logo.

It said the decision was unconstitutional and unlawful, and given the degree of new party entrants in the political fray, it was important for ActionSA’s name to appear in full.

WATCH: ActionSA vs IEC: Electoral Court reserves judgment

https://youtu.be/5truR8msnAk

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