IEC to ‘plead’ with Cyril Ramaphosa to announce election date
Getting desperate, the Electoral Commission of SA acknowledges it is the president’s prerogative to set the date, but is prepared to plead
The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) will “plead” with President Cyril Ramaphosa to announce a date for the national elections before the last registration weekend in January.
The election date is yet to be announced by Ramaphosa.
The elections are expected to be hotly contested, as opposition parties hope to push the governing ANC to below 50% of the support in provinces such as Gauteng.
In terms of the constitution, the term of the current national assembly and provincial legislatures ends on May 6, and elections must take place within 90 days after that. This means that the elections must take place between May 7 and August 5.
The election timeline will only kick in when the election date is proclaimed, which will then set the dates for parties to register to contest the elections and submit their national and provincial candidate lists.
Speaking to reporters at an IEC event in Midrand, Johannesburg, its chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said it has interacted with Ramaphosa so far about the date, but that it was his prerogative to decide when it will be announced.
The IEC hopes to meet with Ramaphosa soon and will use the opportunity to “ask him, [and] to animate him, to consider announcing the date ahead of the registration weekend”.
“So we will plead with him,” Mamabolo said.
The last registration weekend will take place on January 26 and 27. The registration weekend will be a key opportunity for the IEC to get more addresses on the general voters roll, in accordance with an order by the Constitutional Court.
The order required voters’ addresses to be present on the roll. Voters without addresses on the roll will have to present proof of address before they would be allowed to vote later this year.