By Thys Khiba
Johannesburg – The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Deputy chief electoral officer Mawethu Mosery blames ActionSA for its name missing on the ballot paper and said the commission can’t arbitrarily insert abbreviations on behalf of a party.
This is after the ActionSA Leader, Herman Mashaba has questioned the IEC’s free and fair character after his party’s name was left out from the ballot list going into the upcoming local government elections.
“The ANC missed the deadline for candidate submission – the entire deadline was shifted by the IEC. ActionSA – The name of our party is excluded by the IEC from draft ballot papers – the IEC refuses to amend them,” ActionSA leader Mashaba twitted.
The IEC presented final draft ballot papers for wards in Gauteng during a sign-off seesion on Saturday, with the country set to go to the polls on 1 November.
According to the commission, the absence of the abbreviated name on the ward ballots was due to Action SA electing not to register an abbreviated name or acronym.
“The IEC is talking about that this is not a final ballot but then we are being told that the ballots have already gone to print and this cannot be changed,” said Lerato Ngobeni, National spokesperson – ActionSA.
“If the IEC wants to claim that ActionSA didn’t provide them with the acronym, they should have asked. They didn’t ask us, our registration documents are very clear, our name is not to be shortened, we deliberately chose a name that didn’t need shortening as the IEC says an acronym cannot exceed eight characters and our name doesn’t exceed eight characters and can be used both as an acronym and as a full name,” said Ngobeni.
“We can’t arbitrarily insert abbreviation as that would mean we are changing the registration status of a political party,” said Mawethu Mosery, Deputy chief electoral officer – IEC.
“The environment the IEC works on is prescribed to avoid arbitrary decisions by the electoral commission. They need to submit correspondence to amend their registration particulars which will include an abbreviation and we will issue them a revised certificate. But they would have missed this particular election,” said Mosery.
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