The Economic freedom Fighters have condemned IEC’s disqualification of the National Freedom Party (NFP) from contesting the August 3 elections. The party says its a violation of voters’ rights.
The National Freedom Party (NFP) was disqualified from the 2016 local government elections after failing to pay the electoral commission the required fees needed to participate on time.
But the EFF raised a voice on Wednesday saying such decision by the Independent Electoral Commission is an infringement on voter’s right.
“Disallowing the NFP an opportunity to contest the 2016 local government elections will not just be penalizing the leadership of the NFP‚ but will be violating voters’ rights to vote for a political party of their own choice‚”
“Money or fees payments should never be a basis upon which a political party is allowed to contest elections”‚ the EFF said as it called on the IEC and the Electoral Court to allow the NFP to contest the elections.
According to the EFF, the “NFP is currently a majority party in some municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal” and the results of the 2014 general showed that a “section of the electorate has “confidence in the NFP”.
Speaking further on how voters’ rights are being violated, EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said “The IEC and Electoral Court should therefore not magnify an administrative fault into a decision that will prevent the political party‚ its candidates and voters from participating in a democratic process.”
Ndlozi said the EFF chose to defend its opposition party -NFP because‚ in 2014‚ the EFF challenged the IEC in court over the constitutionality of demanding money from political parties and individuals who want to contest elections.
“We still stand by a view that the IEC should utilize a different criteria to determine the seriousness of political parties and candidates that wish to contest elections‚ other than money‚ because accessibility of money in South Africa has class‚ racial and even gender connotations.”
Meanwhile, the NFP has on Tuesday blamed its national treasurer for the “financial blunder”. He claimed that the party had the money, but it had “come in too late”. The party’s general secretary Nhlanhla Khubisa said the party’s treasurer misunderstood the deadline for paying the registration.
Khubisa said that when the registration fee was paid, the IEC told them it was too late but advised the party to take the matter to the electoral court.
NFP has however approached the Electoral Court in an attempt to reverse a decision by the IEC to disqualify the party from contesting the August municipal elections.
The party which has fielded about 872 candidates in eight provinces with the exception of Northern Cape now has its hopes pinned on the Electoral Court that will sit on Friday to hear the party’s application. It only paid a deposit fee last week Wednesday – 20 days after the closing date.