IEC postpones all by-elections

The Electoral Commission of South Africa has postponed all by-elections in the light of continued uncertainty regarding the validity of the voters’ roll where voters’ addresses are not in the possession of the Electoral Commission.

The Commission on Monday said this also includes by-elections scheduled for 6 April 2016.

“The Electoral Commission made the decision in the interest of free and fair elections following the recent order by the Electoral Court to postpone by-elections in Tlokwe scheduled for 24 February 2016,” the Commission said.

The Electoral Commission on 23 February 2016 postponed all 12 by-elections scheduled for the following day in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West and the Western Cape.

The Commission said it held a meeting with Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen, along with the relevant provincial MECs to discuss the postponement of the by-elections.

“The Commission used the opportunity to brief the Minister and MECs on the impact of the Electoral Court ruling on the inclusion of addresses on the certified voters’ roll for by-elections and the risk of the results of any by-elections being set aside pending clarity on this matter from the Constitutional Court.

“The Commission will review the postponement of by-elections once the Constitutional Court has handed down judgment on the appeal, although its decision will also be informed by the imminent 2016 Municipal Elections — which in terms of the Constitution must be held between 18 May and 16 August this year.

“In the meantime, the commission is urging all registered voters to use the opportunity of this weekend’s final registration opportunity at voting stations to visit their voting station to confirm and update their address details ahead of the 2016 Municipal Elections,” said the Commission.

It said approximately two thirds of registered voters currently have partial or no address details captured on the voters’ roll.

The Commission said the opening of all voting stations between 8am and 5pm on Saturday, 9 April and Sunday, 10 April present an opportunity for all voters to refresh and confirm their address details at the convenience of their local voting station.

“Registered voters can SMS their ID number to 32810 (cost R1) to confirm if they are registered and to find out if additional address details are required for them. They can also contact the Contact Centre on 0800 11 8000 between 7am and 9pm for assistance,” said the Commission.

Previously, the IEC said that the uncertainty surrounding the address ruling meant that the 2016 Municipal Elections were at risk, and may not meet the August 2016 deadline.

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IEC postpones all by-elections