Jessie Duarte. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/FREDDY MAVUNDA
Jessie Duarte. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/FREDDY MAVUNDA

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has rejected claims that the governing party received preferential treatment from the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).

This is as the ANC continues to receive backlash since the commission announced on Monday that it would amend the election timetable and reopen candidate registration to political parties and independent candidates that missed the August deadline.

IEC chair Glen Mashinini said parties would be able to field their candidates after the September 18-19 voter registration weekend.

He said the decision to reopen the candidate nomination process was a democratic one as most political parties agreed to it.

This serves as a much-needed lifeline for the ANC‚ which failed to register candidates with the IEC in more than 90 municipalities.

Duarte said the ANC did not have the power to influence the commission.

“We reject the accusation being made that the ANC tried to influence the IEC or the Constitutional Court in any way. We did not and we cannot. We met yesterday with all other political parties in the party liaison committee for the first time with the IEC.

“We understood and accepted the position they emerged with that you cannot reopen voter registration without the concomitant reopening and enabling people to run as candidates because any person who registers as a voter is eligible to run as a candidate‚” she said.

Ahead of the announcement‚ DA federal council chair Helen Zille accused the IEC of conspiring to rescue the ANC‚ saying the opposition party would interdict the reopening of the registration in court.

On Tuesday night‚ the party acted on its word and applied to the Constitutional Court to set aside the IEC’s decision to reopen the candidate nomination process for the 2021 local government elections.

The DA said the decision was unconstitutional and unlawful.

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