The National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has given the assurance that there’s no threat to the country’s next national elections. She was addressing a meeting of the National Assembly’s Programming Committee. This, as Parliament has requested a six-month extension from the Constitutional Court to finalise the Electoral Law Amendment Bill.
The court ruled that the Electoral Law Act must be amended to allow independent candidates to contest provincial and national elections. The deadline for this amendment is next week. The court is yet to rule on the extension.
Parliament says because the Bill was only tabled in January this year, there was not sufficient time to finalise the matter. Mapisa-Nqakula says it’s regrettable that there’s a perception that the request for an extension will threaten the 2024 elections.
“I don’t know how it is threatening the elections. From report I saw, we are gunning for the 6th of November to finalise this whole thing and if we finish and president signs then we won’t have a problem if we are able to do it in next 6 months,” says Mapisa-Nqakula.
The chief whip of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), Steve Swart says criticising Parliament in this regard, is unfair.
“I also want to comment on aspersions on parliament. Reminded that the bill was tabled in January of this year, Parliament has done everything to process the bill. Parliament is doing everything it can and that is reason, why it’s a postponed application which is fully justified given the interest and complexity of this matter,” says Swart.
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