Now that the Constitutional Court has ruled that the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 is in some parts inconsistent with the Constitution and has given Parliament 24 months to amend the legislation, it is a prime opportunity to give our electoral system an entire overhaul.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) has long advocated that the major deficiency in our electoral system is a lack of accountability to the electorate.

The UDM argues for a move towards a mixed electoral system that draws from the strengths of both the proportional and constituency based electoral systems. Constituencies must be introduced into the proportional representation system to ensure that politicians have specific geographically defined communities they represent and to whom they are held accountable.

But to our mind, the most important change necessary is to have the people directly elect their president, as is the case in many democracies across the globe. Let the president be elected by the people and be accountable to the people, instead of the around 3,000 delegates at a party congress that chooses a party president that will be foisted onto an entire nation.

Issued by:
Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP
UDM President