On Monday, the Constitutional Court dismissed the Democratic Alliance’s urgent bid to overturn the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) decision to reopen candidate nominations for political parties, outside of the 23 August deadline.
ConCourt dismisses DA application
With the 2021 local government elections in full swing, the DA hoped to get a nod from the apex court on the issue of the IEC’s decision to extend candidate nominations and party list enrolment for political parties.
This, the official opposition argued, was necessitated by the Commission to “give the African National Congress (ANC) a chance to remedy its failure to submit lists and candidates in certain municipalities.”
According to the IEC, reopening candidate nominations was inevitable, since the voter registration weekend had been earmarked for the weekend of 18 September 2021.
The elections authority also argued that it was empowered by the Municipal Electoral Act to amend the election timetable if it considers it necessary for a free and fair election.
After considering both submissions, the apex court unanimously agreed with the IEC and dismissed the DA’s application with no order on costs.
“In relation to the assertion that the ANC would unduly benefit from the reopening of candidates, the Court held that it was not possible on the papers and in conformity with the Plascon-Evans rule to reject the Commission’s denial of those imputations,” the ConCourt ruled.
ANC fires back at DA after court victory
The ruling party, gloating in the face of a rare court victory, warned the DA to “refrain from further attacks on the integrity of the judiciary and the IEC.”
“Our candidates have been selected through a rigorous, democratic and participatory process involving communities in the choice of who should represent them in local government, the sphere of government closest to the people,” the party wrote.
The 2021 local government elections are scheduled to take place on 1 November 2021.