Record number of parties to contest 2014 election

IEC will hold the upcoming local government elections on 3 August as planned.
IEC will hold the upcoming local government elections on 3 August as planned.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), following the deadline for the submission of candidate lists and payment of

deposits, a total of 33 parties had indicated their intention to contest the election nationally.

However, four parties have yet to fully comply with the pre-election requirements and may be ruled out before the election, IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said.

The names of non-compliant parties cannot yet be released.

But she added that, according to the legislation and election timetable, parties still have until 24 March to submit any outstanding requirements in order to rectify their non-compliance.

If all 33 parties met their obligation, this would be seven more than the number of parties that contested the 2009 national election, and just over double the number of parties which contested in 1999.

However, she said, even if the four parties that still have to comply were to be excluded, the ballot paper would still contain a record 29 contesting parties.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) made the deadline for submissions, despite the party’s legal action relating to the payment of a deposit to the IEC.

The High Court in Pretoria dismissed the EFF’s application for an interdict against imposing the deposit fee required when political parties submit their election list, only a day before the submission deadline.

The deposit for parties contesting the national assembly is R200 000, while parties contesting provincial legislatures pay R45 000 per provincial election.

Parties are required to win one seat in the national assembly or provincial legislature for their deposit to be returned.

Meanwhile, provincially, Gauteng is the second most contested province with 22 parties having submitted lists – up from 20 in 2009.

But this number may also change slightly if parties fail to meet their obligations before 24 March.

According to Bapela, a total of 353 notices were issued to all non-compliant parties.

The lists of candidates for each party – national, regional and provincial – would then be available for inspection from 28 to 31 March.

Any objection to candidates should be submitted in writing to the electoral commission’s head office in Centurion before 5pm on 1 April.

Objections must indicate the reason for the complaint and show that a copy of the objection had also been lodged with the relevant political party.

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