RD disappointed at IEC’s barriers of entry

The Republican Democrats has noted with disappointment the barriers of entry imposed upon new and emerging political parties by the IEC.

We have noted, with great disappointment, the barriers set against new and emerging political parties by the IEC. We are of the firm belief that the elections are in no way going to be free and fair to any of the other political parties but the ANC and perhaps the DA, unless our concerns are addressed. At the time when the ANC had no penny and gearing itself to participate in elections in 1994, they sure manipulated (and spoke against) imposition of high registration fees by the IEC, but nowadays they sure are influential in determining election registration fees and perhaps the election time-table. The ANC uses the IEC as a vehicle to create difficult barriers of entry against other political parties; we are of the firm belief that the election registration fees are set this high in order to eliminate possible entry by parties such as the RD which may come with a new agenda and mandate that would improve the lives of the citizens of this country. Secondly these fees are imposed on all the parties without even checking with all the stakeholders who are registered with the IEC (political parties in this case); we sure as sunrise deserve a right to information and consultation.

During a briefing meeting with the IEC, it became very apparent and clear that all the political parties present did not take kindly to two factors which are also a headache for us the RD:

1. The required amounts for registering for elections
2. The due date upon which parties are to submit their candidates lists as well as the registration deposits.

We have requested the IEC to review the election deposits and also to review the due date upon which to comply with the requirement to submit candidates’ lists and the deposit. The date of the 12th March 2014 is not only impossible but also inconsiderate for us the RD, not only is it unfair but we believe that informing stakeholders to come up with registration deposits within a time frame of three weeks or less is deprivation of free and fair elections. The RD does not accede to this imposed and influenced barrier and we as thus register our dissatisfaction with the way the IEC is being inconsiderate at all. We understand that the ANC itself does not believe in consultation and that even if they consult in their own corners, they still do not take into heart consultation outcomes unless they are favourable to them. At the meeting with the IEC we raised our plea with the Electoral Commission that we are not content with the due date upon which to pay the deposits and an undertaking was done to say that consultation with other Commissioners will be expedited, we therefore await feedback of same with great anticipation. We are disappointed to note that the IEC is to a large degree used to put into effect a mandate whose objective is to close the door on all the other parties but the ANC. For newer parties like the RD money is still a big issue until at least a time when we would be having a world icon to leave us inheritance money and a privilege to benefit from land claim transactions like the recent one in Mhalamhala; but as a principled political party we would not by all means even spend a red cent from public coffers. The ANC however sustains itself from the public purse, the registration deposits will come from our hard earned tax money. Even their campaign will be at the expense of us the tax payers. The RD solely depends on donations and membership fees to sustain itself; we would not be in a position to put together election registration fees until a good Samaritan comes to our rescue. Further to the need to register for elections we are mindful of huge amounts of money that will be required to campaign for this election.

The IEC has to note that parties like the RD have a mandate and new agenda for South African citizens and by all means entry barriers must be elimintated. We asked the CEO of the IEC as to what benefits does the registration deposit go with and in his attempt to give a rather political answer we felt he failed to live up to the question.

Our closing statement is that in order for unhindered participation in the elections, the IEC must reconsider the two above mentioned positions, namely the due date for submissions and the amount of the elections registration deposit; and save themselves embarrassment and unnecessary protest by parties that have a similar stance with ours; or ourselves in our capacity as a registered political party. This is not an election of the ANC but a multi-party election in which citizens of this country will elect a party of their choice and therefore citizens must be allowed their right to freedom of election without setting up of unnecessary barriers and hurdles.

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About Alan

My ethos is espoused in the words of Nelson Mandela: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society. If need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

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