20/09/2021

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South Africa’s local elections postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic

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South Africa’s electoral commission on Monday pushed forward the planned local election after a court ruling that directed the vote to be postponed due to the ongoing health crisis.

Initially scheduled for October 27, the vote will now be held no later than November 1.

Vying candidates, who previously had until August 23 to declare their interests have been given an extension.

This latest change is widely seen as a lifeline for the embattled African National Congress (ANC), which still has hundreds of candidates who have not registered yet.

ANC has been battling a recent protest from its staff members who demanded their delayed salaries.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who heads the party, hailed the decision on Monday after a meeting with party officials and said that this was “in line with the constitutional and legal framework.

In July, the electoral commission had asked the courts to postpone the elections until 2022, fearing that the Covid-19 pandemic would jeopardize the fairness of the vote, especially for minor parties.

The ANC supported the request, while its main rival, the Democratic Alliance (DA), strongly opposed it.

The Constitutional Court finally rejected the appeal on Friday, ordering the elections to be held between October 27 and November 1.