Home South African Cabinet working on electoral act amendment to include independent candidates as MPs

Cabinet working on electoral act amendment to include independent candidates as MPs

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Home Affairs minister has confirmed that a policy is being drafted by a Cabinet committee to allow independent candidates to stand as MPs

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

HOME Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has confirmed that a policy is being drafted to allow independent candidates to stand as MPs.

In June last year, the Constitutional Court ruled that independent candidates could stand as MPs and that the electoral laws would need to be amended accordingly.

The current law allows independent candidates to contest elections in municipalities, but this does not extend to provincial legislatures and the National Assembly.

In a briefing to the portfolio committee on home affairs on Tuesday, Motsoaledi said a Cabinet committee was dealing with the matter.

“I will try to push that from the Cabinet side, even though I am not in charge of Cabinet processes. But I will make sure that those people in charge understand what the committee has said today so that we will be able to put the timelines in place,” said Motsoaledi.

But the Cabinet ministers would have to deal with the policy before he presented it in Parliament, Motsoaledi added.

MPs agreed that they needed to set up timelines for changes to the electoral laws.

Motsoaledi said they had looked at various models across the world.

The government would have to sit down with Parliament, political parties, experts and the Electoral Commission of South Africa to discuss how to amend the law as directed by the Constitutional Court, he said.

Political Bureau