Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/ African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/ African News Agency (ANA)

MPs reject bid to allow citizens to elect president directly

By MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA Time of article published Mar 28, 2019

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Cape Town - Parliament has rejected submissions calling for the amendment of the Constitution to allow for the direct election of the president by the voters.

This emerged in a report of the Constitutional Review Committee on submissions it has considered.

In their report, co-chairpersons Lewis Nzimande and Stanford Maila said the committee received 67 submissions in 2016 and 22 of those did not fall within its mandate.

In one of the submissions, James Dikwayo proposed an amendment to the current electoral system in which the president is elected by parliamentarians in the National Assembly.

Nzimande and Maila said the submission did not specify an alternate electoral system South Africa should take nor a provision in the Constitution that should be amended.

“The submission does not necessitate a review of the Constitution,” they said.

The co-chairpersons also rejected Rajesh Maharaj’s submission that recommendations of the Slabbert Commission report which recommended a mixed electoral system of constituency-based and proportional representation be revisited.

“The submission is a policy matter that requires a review of the Electoral Act, (and) will be referred to a relevant committee.” 

Political Bureau

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