Deadline for Parliament to amend Electoral Act fast approaching

Parliament has less than two weeks left to meet the Constitutional Court deadline to amend the Electoral Act to make provisions for independent candidates to participate in National and Provincial elections.

The Constitutional Court has yet to make a decision on the National Legislature’s application for a six month extension.

Parliament could not finalise the Bill on time as it was tabled only on the 10th January this year while public hearings could only start in March.

In June 2020, Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga declared the Electoral Act unconstitutional to the extent that it requires that adult citizens may be elected to the National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures only through their membership of political parties.

He suspended the unconstitutionality of the Act to give Parliament 24 months to rectify the defect in the law.

The suspension of unconstitutionality will lapse soon,  two years after the court made the declaration.

This means the Act could become unconstitutional until the Constitutional Court grants Parliament the six months extension to finalise the Bill.

But One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane says Parliament must be held accountable for contempt of court for failing to process the Bill on time.

The Electoral Act was declared unconstitutional:

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