PAM tops PR ballot papers for elections

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Pretoria - The Pan Africanist Movement (PAM) got lucky on Wednesday when it was randomly drawn out of 204 parties to top the ballot paper for the 3 August Local Government Elections. 

This means that the relatively small party will top the proportional representation (PR) ballot papers in all municipalities where it is contesting the municipal elections. The rest of the names will follow each other alphabetically.

“We are happy that it was a successful event. Now we can see how the ballot paper, particularly for the metros, will look like,” said Electoral Commission (IEC) vice chairperson Terry Tselane on Wednesday after the draw.

He said use of a random draw to select the party which will top the ballot paper has been established for all elections over the past 21 years in South Africa.

“It is the fairest way to choose the order of the ballot paper,” he said, adding that the method is being used in other countries.

The Local Government Elections will see a record number of political parties contesting the eight metropolitan municipalities, 205 local municipalities and 44 district councils. A total of 204 political parties submitted candidate lists by last week’s deadline.

“Western Cape will have the highest number of parties contesting with 77, followed by Limpopo with 56, Gauteng 45 and Eastern Cape with 43,” said Tselane.

The smallest number of parties, which is 18, will contest in the Northern Cape.

In terms of the metropolitan breakdown, Tselane said their longest PR ballot paper will be in the City of Cape Town with 37 parties. This is followed by the City of Johannesburg with 28, EThekwini and Ekurhuleni will both have 26, Tshwane Metro 20, Nelson Mandela Bay 19 and Mangaung with 13.

The shortest metro will be Buffalo City in the Eastern Cape with 10 parties.

Over 66 000 candidates

With only 56 days left to the polls scheduled for 3 August, Tselane said the IEC is still in the process of validating the various candidate nominations received by the deadline.

More than 66 000 candidates have been captured as part of the nomination submission process.

Of these, nearly 53% were submitted electronically using the IEC’s Online Candidate Nomination System.

According to Tselane, indications are that there will be approximately 970 independent candidates who will contest the elections.

In 2006, there were 663 independent candidates.

The IEC will inform political parties and independent candidates by Monday, 13 June, of any outstanding documentation.

They will have one week to rectify any non-compliance with the administrative requirements for nomination.

The final issuing of the certificates to contesting parties and candidates will be 1 July, after which the printing of ballot papers will begin.

According to the IEC, there are 4 649 unique ballot papers for the 2016 municipal elections.

Voters in metros will complete two ballot papers and voters in all other municipalities will complete three ballot papers. The IEC plans to print about 80 million copies of ballot papers to ensure sufficient ballots for all voters. -