The second wave of Covid-19 and strict regulations limiting gatherings have forced the Electoral Commission (IEC) to seek a postponement of the latest rounds of by-elections.
The IEC announced on Monday that it has again approached the Electoral Court to postpone by-elections after the implementation of Covid-19 level 3 lockdown restrictions.
The commission is seeking the court’s approval to postpone by-elections scheduled for January 20, February 3 and February 17 on the basis that the latest regulations curtail political activities, “imperilling” the freeness and fairness of the elections.
The application also seeks to extend the 90-day period within which by-elections to fill councillor vacancies must take place.
“The Electoral Commission noted that even though many of the preparations for the by-elections have been concluded, and protocols are in place for the safe conducting of elections as piloted in November and December, the regulations prohibiting political activities will seriously hamper campaigning by candidates and political parties,” it said on Monday.