South Africa: Pondering Polls - the 2021 Local Elections Might Still Be the Least Worst Outcome in a Time of No Good Options

analysis

The 2021 local polls may in fact turn out to be an election showdown very few wanted. Still, holding the elections as scheduled could turn out to be one of the better outcomes.

While the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has decided to ask a court to postpone the local elections, there is still no certainty that this will happen. The parties may still have to campaign for an election to be held by the beginning of November, in a highly politicised environment and before the majority of people in South Africa are likely to be vaccinated.

The 2021 local polls may in fact turn out to be an election showdown very few wanted. Still, holding the elections as scheduled could turn out to be one of the better outcomes.

No one can give the assurance that holding the elections in a few months' time would result in a free and fair poll. But no one can give the assurance that holding them next year would result in a free and fair poll either. The risk is that the longer the delay in voting, the worse the infringement of the fundamental right to vote.

On Friday last week, the...

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