Small political parties raise fears on possible elections’ postponement

MOUTSE – The Bolsheviks Party of South Africa (BPSA) has on Tuesday announced its concerns amid the possibility of the postponement of the local government elections scheduled for 27 October this year due to increasing COVID-19 infections.

The BPSA said it was against the proposed postponement as it would negatively affect the smaller emerging political parties such as them as they did not have a financial muscle and only dependant on party members’ donations.

Seun Mogotji, BPSA leader, said they have already exhausted a significant chunk of the little funds they had in their disposal to print flyers, posters and printing of T-shirts.

Mogotji further said that moving the local government elections to next year in February would only harm them as it meant that the printed flyers with a new election date would need to be printed.

“For a small party, this will really cripple us financially and it might again give an unfair advantage to bigger parties with deeper pockets and stronger flexible financial prowess,” added Mogotji.

He further said that countries like the USA held successful elections during the earlier stages of the pandemic when little was known about it and that surely, now with all the available information at disposal on how to protect against the virus and the steady but consistent vaccination programme, the elections would be safe for all South Africans.

“The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) with the help of our government and all political parties will have to ensure that all COVID-19 safety precautions and protocols are observed and adhered to at all times during the elections,” said Mogotji.

The leader added that the postponement of the elections would further put into question the legitimacy of the serving councilors in municipalities countrywide as their time in office would have lapsed as per provision of the electoral commission guidelines and the constitution of the Republic of South Africa, which clearly stipulates that elections be held within three months after the end of the term of the outgoing sitting council.

“If this period passes, then on whose mandate will those councilors be acting on? This will be tantamount to having illegitimate councilors running our municipalities and this will be a grave infringement of the rights of our people to elect their preferred councilors. It will also be a violation of our country’s constitution. We hope the former Deputy Justice Dikgang Moseneke and his commission will take all these into consideration when making their submissions,” concluded Mogotji.

 

Thapelo Motseo

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