More political parties to contest 2014 elections

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says a total of 33 political parties have indicated their intention to contest the upcoming general election. 

However, IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said four parties are yet to fully comply with the prescribed deposits and may be ruled out before the elections scheduled for 7 May.

Last Wednesday was the deadline for payment of deposits and submission of documentation, including candidate lists, by political parties.

According to legislation and the Election Timetable, parties still have a window of opportunity until 24 March to submit any outstanding requirements. 

Bapela said if all 33 parties meet their obligations, this will be seven more parties (26.9%) than those that contested the 2009 national election, and just over double the number of parties (16) which contested in 1999.

In South Africa’s historic first democratic election in 1994, there were 19 parties on the national ballot paper and 21 in 2004.

Bapela said even if the four parties which still have to comply with the nomination requirements were to be excluded, the ballot paper will still contain a record 29 contesting parties.

Provincial breakdown

In terms of the provincial elections, the Western Cape will be the most contested province, with 26 parties submitting lists (up from 22 in 2009).

This is followed by Gauteng, with 22 parties having submitted lists (up from 20 in 2009); Limpopo with 20 (18 in 2009); the Eastern Cape with 18 (17 in 2009) and KwaZulu-Natal with 18 (17 in 2009); Free State with 17 (14 in 2009) and then Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and North West with 16 parties each (respectively 15, 13, 16 in 2009).

However, these numbers may reduce slightly if the parties fail to meet their obligations before 24 March.

The Electoral Commission has sent notices of non-compliance to all affected political parties. A total of 353 notices were issues by the Chief Electoral Officer on Saturday, 15 March. Parties have until Monday, 24 March, to rectify any non-compliance.

The lists of candidates for each party (national, regional and provincial) will then be available for inspection from 28 March.

Any objection to candidates must be submitted to the Electoral Commission’s head office in Centurion in writing before 5pm on Tuesday, 1 April 2014.

Such objections must indicate the reason for the objection to a candidate and must show that a copy of the objection has also been lodged with the relevant political party.

The Commission will rule on the objections by Monday, 7 April and any appeals to the rulings must be submitted to the Electoral Court by 10 April.

The final deadline for decisions of the Electoral Court is 15 April, following which the final list of candidates contesting the elections will be published on 22 April and certificates issued to candidates by 24 April.

The provisional list of the political organisation intending to contest the 2014 election includes the African Unite Party, African Christian Democratic Party, African Independent Congress, African National Congress, African People’s Convention, Agang South Africa, Al Jama-Ah, Azanian People’s Organisation, Bushbuckridge Residents Association, Congress of the People and the Democratic Alliance.

Other parties are the Economic Freedom Fighters, First National Liberation Alliance, Front National, Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa, Inkatha Freedom Party, IQela Lentsango-Dagga Party, Keep it straight and Simple, Kingdom Governance Movement, Lekgotla for Democracy Advance, Minority Front, National Freedom Party, Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, Pan Africanist Movement, Patriotic Alliance, People’s Alliance, South African Progressive Civic Organisation, Ubuntu Party, United Christian Democratic Party, United Congress, United Democratic Movement, Vryheidsfront Plus and the Workers and Socialist Party. - SAnews.gov.za

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