the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill, 2020 (“the draft Bill”) will seek to address the New Nation Movement judgment by amending relevant electoral legislation in order to make provision for independent candidates to stand for public office in provincial and national elections, without requiring such candidate to be a member of a particular political party.
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The draft Bill will, therefore, inter alia, seek to amend:
- the Electoral Commission Act, 1996 (Act No. 51 of 1996), so as to provide for, and to regulate, the registration of independent candidates;
- the Electoral Act, 1998 (Act No. 73 of 1998), so as to, inter alia, give full effect to section 19(3)(b) of the Constitution, which provides that every South African citizen has the fundamental right to stand for public office and, if elected, to hold office; to;
- ensure that individuals can stand for office as independent candidates without having to stand for office by virtue of his or her membership of a political party;
- to provide for the creation of constituencies along current district boundary lines, and;
- the replacement of the “closed list” proportional representation system with the “open list” proportional representation system with greater requirements for all candidates to uphold the Constitution and to give impetus to the realisation of the Bill of Rights; and to promote democratic governance and electoral accountability; and
- any other relevant legislation so as to provide for independent candidates to participate in election broadcasts and political advertisements on an equitable basis with political parties;
- to provide for independent candidates to receive financial and administrative assistance to enable them to perform their functions effectively; and
- to provide for related and other consequential matters.
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