Parliament’s senior legal advisor, Charmaine van der Merwe, says the 2024 election may raise constitutional concerns if the Electoral Act is not amended in time to allow independent candidates to run in national and provincial elections.
Van de Merwe expresses this sentiment during the National Assembly Programme Committee meeting.
The Apex Court declared the Electoral Act unconstitutional in June 2020 and gave Parliament 24 months to rectify the defect in the law.
In the video below, the Electoral Act was declared unconstitutional:
The National Legislature has asked for an extension as it will not meet the Constitutional Court deadline next month.
Van der Merwe was asked what would happen if the Constitutional Court does not grant Parliament the six months extension to finalise the Electoral Amendment Bill.
Van der Merwe explains, “So if the court does not grant the extension, all we can do is to proceed with the bill as soon as possible. It is not something where something was in action at the moment and was declared invalid and that we had a certain time, and if you reach the time the invalidity has serious and immediate consequences.
“In this instance, there is an order to do it at a certain time. If we don’t do it by the time we have our next elections, it will have to be in place or our elections will not be constitutional. So that’s where it is lying. So it will be better if we can get the extension,” she adds.
Parliament running out of time to amend the Electoral Act before 2024 polls: