Parliament has refuted the Independent Candidate’s Association (ICA) claim that the allocation of National Assembly seats, encompassing both regional and national compensatory seats, is irrational and infringes upon citizens’ rights.
Counsel for Parliament, Karrisha Pillay was making arguments in the Constitutional Court in response to the ICA’s challenge relating to the constitutionality of the Electoral Amendment Act.
The ICA says independent candidates are only allowed to compete for the the 200 regional seats resulting in a drastic increase of the quota for them to gain seats.
Pillay explains why Parliament supports the current system:
The audio below is reporting more on the story:
Meanwhile, the requirement that independent candidates and unrepresented political parties collect signatures which total 15 percent of the votes required to attain a single seat where they are contesting is burdensome.
This is the submission of civil society think tank, the Rivonia Circle.
The organisation made arguments as a friend of the court in support of the Independent Candidates Association and One SA Movement.
Counsel for the Rivonia Circle, Max du Plessis says the requirement is too high and will act as a barrier to entry.
“It’s a barrier to ballot so it is a burden that befalls new parties and independent candidates for the first time in our democratic history, precisely some may say, when the party is in need of political contestation and new ideas.”
“Political contestation cannot happen if you don’t even get on the ballot and vote for new blood on that ballot and if this entails a burden on foundation rights then it is also a burden fundamental to our history but it is also critical for our future.”
Adv Paul Hoffman unpacks Tuesday’s court proceedings:
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