IEC dismisses all objections against party candidates, bar one

The IEC has upheld only one objection against a political candidate from the PAC.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) announced they had dismissed nearly all the objections they had received against the candidates nominated by political parties contesting this year’s elections.

Only one objection was upheld, which came from  the PAC against its own candidate, Alton Mphethi, due to a criminal conviction, said IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya.

“This candidate was sentenced on 7 June 2016 to 18 months’ imprisonment without the option of a fine. This disqualifies him from holding elected office to the National Assembly or a provincial legislature. The commission dismissed all other objections for failing to meet the constitutional or statutory criteria.”

Ten parties had candidates subjected to objections: there were the African Content Movement, the African Christian Democratic Party, the African Independent Congress, the Alliance for Transformation for All, the ANC, Black First Land First, the DA, the EFF, the PAC, and the Land Party.

ALSO READ: IEC dismisses public’s objections against BLF’s Mngxitama and Maasdorp

A number of objections were directed at more than one party. There were 52 objections in total. All the parties denied the allegations and opposed the objections.

The ANC received the most, at 29. Nineteen were directed at the BLF. The EFF faced 13. The DA and Land Party faced four each. The rest only had to deal with one each.

The commission even examined objections that did not meet the prescribed criteria. Aside from Mpethi’s case, no objections met the criteria for removal from candidate lists.

According to the IEC, objections may be lodged against a candidate on the basis that they are not “qualified” to stand for elections, if they did not accept the nomination, or if they did not sign the IEC’s code of conduct.

Every citizen who is qualified to vote for national assembly representatives or provincial legislature members is eligible to stand for election, except for unrehabilitated insolvents and anyone considered incompetent to go to trial by the court. An unrehabilitated insolvent is a person who has been declared insolvent under a court order and who has not yet applied for and been granted a court order of rehabilitation.

Another condition on the IEC website reads: “Anyone who is convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months’ imprisonment without the option of a fine either in South Africa or outside the country if the offence would have been an offence if committed in South Africa. This disqualification ends five years after the sentence has been completed.”

Objectors have until April 11 to appeal the decisions at the Electoral Court.

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