Independent Online

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Parliament asks for six-month extension to amend law to allow independent candidates to stand as MPs and MPLs

Members of Parliament during a sitting. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Members of Parliament during a sitting. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Apr 27, 2022

Share

Cape Town - Parliament has asked the Constitutional Court to grant it a six-month extension to allow it to finalise a law that would allow independent candidates to stand as MPs and MPLs in the national and provincial elections.

The request by Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo to the highest court in the land comes before the deadline set by the Constitutional Court two years ago for the lawmakers to conclude the Electoral Laws by June this year.

Story continues below Advertisement

The New Nation Movement had gone to the apex court to ask that independent candidates be allowed to stand as lawmakers in the National Assembly and provincial legislatures.

The law currently allows independent candidates to stand as councillors in municipal polls.

But only political parties can send candidates to the national assembly and provinces.

The Constitutional Court ruled in the New Nation Movement application that Parliament has two years to fix the electoral laws. The deadline is June 10.

Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said on Wednesday the national legislature wants an extension of the deadline set by the apex for another six months.

“Given the significance of the Bill and the required public participation process, it has since become apparent that parliament will not be in a position to pass an amendment to the Electoral Act before the June deadline.

Story continues below Advertisement

“The Bill was only introduced in the national assembly on January 10, 2022, leaving parliament with only five months to process a bill of such public significance and interest. Accordingly, the presiding officers of parliament approached the apex court to seek an extension in order to enable parliament to properly deliberate on the bill before it and that citizens across the country are afforded an opportunity to meaningfully participate and share their views on the Electoral Amendment Bill,” said Mothapo.

He said the process of amending involved complex policy issues and parliament would require more time to amend the bill.

[email protected]

Story continues below Advertisement

Current Affairs

Share