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South Africa polls: Candidates' names up for scrutiny

Posted on Apr 22 2014 | IANS

Johannesburg, April 22 : With General Elections to select a new 400-member National Assembly and nine provincial assemblies a fortnight away, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa was expected to later Tuesday release the final list of candidates for the May 7 polls, media reports said.

The IEC would on Thursday issue certificates to all candidates as per regulations of the Electoral Act -- but prior to that, it would scrutinise complaints, if any, against the candidates about their suitability to take part in the upcoming polls.

The national poll panel has received 45 objections relating to candidates from various parties, including the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA), Congress of the People, Economic Freedom Fighters, African Christian Democratic Party, United Democratic Party, and National Freedom Party, Xinhua reported.

The IEC has already rejected the candidature of a few aspirants based on their background.

The 2014 general elections will be the fifth election to be held in the country under conditions of universal adult suffrage since the end of apartheid in 1994. These will also be the first election without the presence of the father of South African democracy, Nelson Mandela, who passed away Dec 5, 2013, at the age of 95.

Another significant aspect of the May 7 polls will be that the 'born frees' - those born after South Africa's first democratic election in 1994 - will be eligible to vote for the first time.

The president of South Africa will be chosen by the National Assembly after the election. The premiers of each province will also be chosen by the winning majority in each provincial legislature.

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