Legislation: Delays with electoral law Bill cause concern

Parliament is unlikely to meet a Constitutional Court deadline to pave the way for independent candidates to stand in the 2024 general elections, TimesLIVE reports. Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is yet to table a Bill that will allow the legislature to amend the law before the June 2022 deadline. National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will now write to Deputy President David Mabuza in his capacity as leader of government business in Parliament ‘to request him to urge the Minister of Home Affairs to speed up the process so that it goes to Cabinet and finally to Parliament’.

Parliamentary legal adviser Advocate Charmaine van der Merwe told National Assembly's Programme Committee that the Constitutional Court order on the matter lapses on 10 June 2022 and that the Department of Home Affairs had confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa's Cabinet is yet to deliberate on the matter. Motsoaledi appointed an advisory committee on the electoral system chaired by former Cabinet Minister and ANC veteran Valli Moosa in February. Van der Merwe told MPs that the committee has completed its work and its report will be taken to the Cabinet. ‘However, we do not have any indication of when a Bill will be introduced into Parliament and even if a Bill is introduced early in January, it leaves Parliament with six months to process this Bill in both houses and for the President to consider and assent to the Bill,’ she said. MPs urged Mapisa-Nqakula to write to the executive to raise Parliament's concerns. The Constitutional Court found that exclusive party proportional representation could no longer be used and ordered Parliament to correct a defect in the Electoral Act, which does not provide for independent candidates to stand for provincial and national elections.

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