NFP should be part of local elections – EFF

Fighters say not allowing the party to contest due to administrative issue will be violating voters' constitutional right

The Economic Freedom Fighters calls on the IEC and Electoral Court to allow the National Freedom Party to contest the 2016 Local Government Elections 

29 June 2016

The Economic Freedom Fighters calls on the Independent Electoral Commission and the Electoral Court to allow the National Freedom Party to contest the 2016 Local Government Elections. The EFF believes that money or fees payments should never be a basis upon which a political party is allowed to contest elections, particularly a political party that has tested mass support in areas where it exists. 

The NFP is currently a majority party in some municipalities in KwaZulu Natal and a section of the electorate has demonstrated in 2014 General Elections that they have confidence in the NFP. Disallowing the NFP an opportunity to contest the 2016 Local government elections will not just be penalising the leadership of the NFP but will be violating voters' constitutional right to vote for a political party of their own choice. The IEC and Electoral Court should therefore not magnify an administrative fault into a decision that will prevent the whole political party, its candidates and voters from participating in a democratic process.

The EFF takes this principled position 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 utilise a different criteria to determine the seriousness of a 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. 

The EFF will write to the IEC and Electoral Court to request that the NFP should be allowed to contest the 2016 Local Government Elections because they have demonstrated their seriousness as a political party and have tested support on the ground. In the immediate aftermath of the elections, the EFF will continue to lead the discussions and litigations that will lead to the abolishment of money as a pre-requisite to contest elections. 

All South Africans must be afforded the Constitutional right to make free political choices in a free and fair environment. 

Issued by Mbuyiseni Quintin Ndlozi, National Spokesperson, EFF, 29 June 2016