IEC to release candidates' lists for public inspection

Monday, March 16, 2009
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will today release the candidates' lists of political parties that will be contesting the 2009 General Elections.

The candidates' lists submitted by political parties will be made available for public inspection at national, provincial and municipal offices of the IEC on Monday and Tuesday.

"Residents will be able to inspect the candidates' lists and accompanying documents which will be published in the national daily newspapers between 9am and 5pm," the IEC said.

The public, including the Chief Electoral Officer, Pansy Tlakula, has until 18 March to object to any candidate on the list in a prescribed manner.

"The Commission will then decide on the objection and will notify the objector and the registered party that nominated the candidate by 23 March.

"The objector or the registered party who nominated the candidate may appeal against a decision of the Commission in terms of Section 30 (3) to the Electoral Court in the prescribed manner by 26 March," the IEC said.

According to the IEC, the Electoral Court must consider and decide on the appeal and notify the parties to the appeal and the chief electoral officer by 31 March.

By 3 April, the chief electoral officer must compile a list of the registered parties entitled to contest the 22 April national and provincial elections as well as the final list of candidates for each of those parties.

Ms Tlakula said: "The submission of candidates' lists is an important milestone on the election timetable and truly signals the start of the election period.

"The number of political parties participating demonstrates that these elections have generated a lot of interest in South Africa."

Last Wednesday, the IEC held a draw to decide on the order of how the 26 political parties contesting the national elections will appear on the election ballot papers.

The first and second parties listed on the ballot paper will be the Movement Democratic Party and the National Democratic Convention. The last party listed is the Minority Front.

The names were drawn randomly out of a large bowl by local singer Louise Carver at a ceremony hosted by the IEC in Johannesburg.

The printing of ballot papers began last Thursday. Leaders of various political parties also signed the Electoral Code of Conduct at the event.

The Electoral Code of Conduct is enacted as part of the Electoral Act of 1998 in order to create electoral conditions consistent with the values of the Constitution.

It prohibits violence, defamatory statements and intimidation.

By making this pledge, political parties will ensure that participation in the political process is based on mutual respect, tolerance and the recognition of the rights of participating political parties.