Contribution in the National Assembly by Bantu Holomisa, MP and UDM President
Subject for discussion: Electoral Amendment Bill (B1-2022)
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Honourable Minister and Deputy Minister
The inclusion of independent candidates at national and provincial level of elections is a step in the right direction, but the UDM (United Democratic Movement) argues that this has not gone far enough.
Since the days of the now defunct Idasa (Institute for Democracy in Southern Africa), the UDM has been advancing the agenda of having an electoral system that, in a larger part, is a constituency-based system.
A mixed system of proportional representation and constituencies, like we currently have at municipal level, will boost accountability to the electorate.
Honourable Members, it is time for us to have another system to strengthen our democracy and ensure its future health.
Let us change the legislation and let the Demarcation Board and the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) draw up the boundaries for new constituencies.
The IEC should also be tasked with determining the threshold for the number of registered voters it would require to demarcate a constituency.
In closing, we are at this juncture due to the pressure exerted by litigation in the Constitutional Court, but should we successfully consider the UDM’s proposal we will pre-empt any such future legal action.
The UDM is not in support of the Bill.