IEC wants Wednesday's by-elections postponed after gatherings ban
The Electoral Commission (IEC) will urgently approach the electoral court to postpone eight by-elections scheduled for Wednesday in the wake of level 4 lockdown restrictions.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night moved the country to lockdown alert level 4, as Covid-19 cases were spiralling and the third wave of infections wrecked havoc, particularly in Gauteng. The restrictions prohibit all gatherings (except funerals), including political gatherings — and threw the hosting of Wednesday's by-elections into turmoil.
The Electoral Commission said it took the decision to seek the court’s approval to postpone the by-elections at an emergency meeting on Monday called after Ramaphosa's announcement.
Wednesday’s votes were the final by-elections scheduled to be conducted ahead of the local government elections due in October this year.
The IEC was to hold eight municipal ward by-elections across four provinces — the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, the Northern Cape and the Western Cape — on Wednesday. The votes are set to be contested by 40 candidates from 14 political parties, as well as three independent candidates.