Experts working on law to allow independent candidates to contest elections

Motsoaledi gave MPs an update on the amendments to electoral legislation while delivering his department’s budget vote speech on Wednesday.

FILE: Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said a team of experts had already started working on a new law to allow independent candidates to contest national elections.

Motsoaledi gave MPs an update on the amendments to electoral legislation while delivering his department’s budget vote speech on Wednesday.

Last year, the Constitutional Court ruled the country’s Electoral Act is unconstitutional because it doesn’t allow independent candidates to be elected to the national and provincial legislatures.

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The case was brought by the New Nation Movement.

This organisation argued that the act tramples on the right to exercise individual political choices.

Motsoaledi said they were already in talks with political parties about new legislation.

“You are aware that I’ve appointed a very experienced team comprising experienced multi-disciplinary professionals to help the country come with a robust electoral system. The team is led by former government minister Vali Moosa. They’ve already held dialogues and consultations with political parties. They’ve already started to work on a draft bill.”

READ: ConCourt rules independent candidates may in future contest elections

The landmark Constitutional Court judgment handed down last June gave Parliament 24 months to come up with legislation allowing independent candidates to contest polls on a national level.

The new law must be in place in time for the 2024 elections.

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