- The Independent Electoral Commission wants Parliament to begin the process of amending the Electoral Act immediately
- The Commission is concerned about timelines and the implications of their planning
- In early June, the Electoral Act was declared unconstitutional and Parliament was ordered to amend it within 24 months
The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has asked National Assembly to start working on amending legislation to allow independent candidates to stand in provincial and national elections as soon as possible.
Two weeks ago, the Constitutional Court has declared the Electoral Act unconstitutional.
This came after the New Nation Movement's (NNM) bid to allow an independent candidate to run for elections challenged the current Electoral Act 73 of 1998, arguing that it infringes on the right to exercise individual political choices.
Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga handed down judgment that could change the electoral landscape in the country.
The electoral body said it was concerned that the 24 months Parliament has to amend the law may not be enough if lawmakers don't start the amendment process early enough, said Timeslive.
Another IEC concern was that the next provincial and national elections are less than four years away and it generally takes the Commission a minimum of two years to plan and prepare for an election.
News24 reported that Portfolio Committee Chairperson Bongani Bongo said it is up to parties to discuss whether they want a parliamentary or constitutional democracy. At the moment, the country is a constitutional democracy.
IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini described it as a "landmark judgment". He said the ruling will have far-reaching implications for the country's democratic landscape.
IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said the judgment has "huge implications" for the IEC and its budget, and they may have to consider alternative ways to conduct elections.
MPs mulled over some of the regulations that would have to change what the implications of these would be.
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