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Parties say IEC should regulate deposits and signatures for independents wanting to be MPs

National Assembly, Parliament. Picture: Siyabulela Duda

National Assembly, Parliament. Picture: Siyabulela Duda

Published Jun 29, 2022

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Cape Town - Parties said on Tuesday it should be left to the Independent Electoral Commission to make regulations on party agents and signatures independent candidates should obtain in order to stand for elections in the National Assembly and provincial legislatures.

The issue of party agents, signatures as well as deposits are some of the outstanding matters in the Electoral Amendment Bill that was deliberated on by the home affairs portfolio committee.

Briefing the committee, content adviser Salmon Adam said the committee would be required to get permission from the National Assembly to include new sections that were not in the bill.

Adam also said if parties agreed to the inclusion of independent candidates’ agents, that would mean applying to the National Assembly to extend the scope of their work.

Adam also said the committee should also decide on the likely percentage of signatures to be required from independents to stand for elections and the deposit they would be required to pay.

During the discussions, DA MP Adrian Roos said the need for independent candidates to have party agents was very important.

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“We certainly support that. It is a matter of how because we discussed the political liaison committee. It seems that we need to really come to a point on how they will work,” he said.

IFP MP Liezl van der Merwe said there should be a fair amount for deposits to be paid by independent candidates to contest the elections.

ANC MP Brendon Pillay said the deposit to be paid by independents should be fair and equivalent to what parties would be paying.

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ANC MP Tidimalo Legwase said they should leave the matter of party agents and signatures for regulation by the IEC.

“We can’t prescribe the number of party agents. The principle stands in terms of inclusion of party agents,” Legwase said.

“The issue of signatures and a deposit should be left for regulation and the only party to regulate is the IEC,” she added.

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Committee chairperson Mosa Chabane said the issue of the deposit would be left to the IEC to regulate.

Chabane said they would decide on the issue of signatures whether to be in the bill or not.

“There is consensus in areas to be subjected to the IEC for regulation and issues that remain in the bill,” he said.

Chabane said they would affirm decisions on the issues they have consensus on in their next committee meeting.

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