The by-elections that were set to take place in ward one, Roodepan this week, have been postponed due to the adjusted level four restrictions that were introduced on Monday.
THE BY-ELECTIONS that were set to take place in ward one, Roodepan this week, have been postponed due to the adjusted level four restrictions that were introduced on Monday.
Special votes were to be held on Tuesday June 29 with the by-election scheduled for Wednesday.
The seat became vacant due to the death of a councillor.
Provincial Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) electoral matters manager Elkin Topkin on Monday indicated that they had applied to the Electoral Court to set aside the by-elections following the introduction of stricter Covid-19 regulations that prohibits gatherings.
“Due to the timelines, the last day for all by-elections is June 30. Legislation prescribes that by-elections should not take place six months before the local government elections. If the application is granted the seat will remain vacant until the local government elections. We are expecting to have an outcome on Tuesday.”
He indicated that preparations were on track to hold local government elections on October 27.
“Some political parties have been calling for a postponement of the local government elections and retired Judge Dikgang Moseneke is listening to oral submissions this week regarding an inquiry on free and fair elections during Covid-19.
“He will advise the commission whether it is in the best interests of society to continue with the elections as planned or postpone it.
“The IEC is ready and is in the process of training IEC staff. However if a decision is made by parliament to postpone there will have to be an amendment to the Constitution as local government elections have to be held every five years.”
Topkin pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic had wreaked havoc on preparations.
“Time is of the essence as normally there are 76 days in which to finalise the process after the date is promulgated. A voter registration drive is planned for July 17-18 while candidate nominations close on August 16. This year we have fewer days as we had to incorporate a 14 day inspection to assess the quality of the voters roll. The adjusted level four lockdown has also left us with substantially less time.”