Friday, May 24, 2024

South Africa: President Ramphosa Assents to the Electoral Amendment Bill

President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law the Electoral Amendment Bill of 2022.

The Bill provides for the amendment of the Electoral Act, 1992 (Act No. 73 of 1998) and gives effect to the Constitutional Court judgment that was handed down on the 11 June 2020.

The judgment in the matter of the New Nation Movement NPC & others V President of the Republic of South Africa & others, declared the Electoral Act of 1998 unconstitutional for stipulating that election to the National Assembly and provincial legislatures may only be attained through membership of political parties.

The amended electoral act now provides for the inclusion and nomination of independent candidates as contesters to elections in the National Assembly and provincial legislatures. Notable measures that feature in the bill are;

– The requirements which must be met by persons who wish to be nominated as independent candidates;

– The inspection of copies of lists of independent candidates and accompanying documents;

– Provision for objections to independent candidates;

– The inclusion of a list of independent candidates entitled to contest elections;

– Requirement for the appointment of agents by independent candidates;

– Obligation for independent candidates to abide by the Electoral Code of Conduct;