ConCourt grants parliament more time to finalise Electoral Amendment Bill
The Constitutional Court has extended its declaration of invalidity order deadline for the Electoral Act to January 31 to give parliament more time to work on the Electoral Amendment Bill.
Parliament brought an urgent application to the court on Tuesday, requesting a further extension to the deadline for the finalisation of the amendment bill from December 10 to February 28.
Moloto Mothapo, spokesperson for parliament, said parliament argued in the court submission that the “short extension is designed to permit adequate public participation in respect of the amendments proposed by the National Council of Provinces after the bill was passed by the National Assembly on October 20”.
“Parliament submitted that there would be no prejudice to any party should the further extension be granted, as the Electoral Commission would still have sufficient time to prepare for the 2024 elections,” said Mothapo.
The court suspended its declaration of invalidity order from June 10 to January 31 pending its final determination on the extension sought by parliament.
“In June 2020, the Constitutional Court declared that the Electoral Act was constitutionally invalid insofar as it makes it impossible for candidates to stand for political office without being members of political parties,” said Mothapo.
“The court suspended its ruling for 24 months and gave parliament until 10 June to rectify the constitutional defects in the act and to make provision for independent candidates to contest elections to the National Assembly and the provincial legislatures.”
Mothapo said the court ordered the respondents, who include the New Nation Movement, the president and the Electoral Commission of South Africa, to file their answering affidavits on or before Monday, December 19.
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