South Africa’s constitutional court bars 3 political parties from contesting elections

South Africa's Constitutional Court, the country's highest court, announced on Friday that it has disqualified three political parties from contesting the upcoming elections.

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People wait for voter registration at a voting station in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa, Nov. 18, 2023. (Photo by Ihsaan Haffejee/Xinhua)

South Africa’s Constitutional Court, the country’s highest court, announced on Friday that it has disqualified three political parties from contesting the upcoming elections.

The decision followed appeals from the newly-formed Labor Party, the Afrikan Alliance of Social Democrats and the African Congress for Transformation, which claimed that the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) online portal for submitting candidate lists had malfunctioned, preventing them from meeting the submission deadline.

“The application for leave to appeal is dismissed,” ruled the Constitutional Court, noting that evidence showed the IEC’s Online Candidate Nomination System functioned properly at the relevant time.

The court also rejected the Labor Party’s appeal to postpone the polls, scheduled for May 29. The IEC argued that any changes to the election timetable would disrupt the schedule.

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