Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Electoral Amendment Bill is Rakuoane’s own- Letsoela


Mohloai Mpesi

The Chairperson of the outgoing National Reforms Authority (NRA) which was tasked with implementation of the national reforms agenda per the public views as contained in the reforms’ dialogue phase Multi-Stakeholder National Dialogue Plenary II Report on reforms, Chief Pelele Letsoela says the National Assembly Electoral Amendment Bill 2022 presented by the Minister of Law and Justice Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane to parliament was unilaterally drafted by Rakuoane and his ministry in disregard of the reforms programme.

Letsoela said they could not have allowed such a Bill when they had already been working on an Electoral Act in line with the views of the public “…which he is still keeping to himself.

“We saw the Bill when it was tabled in parliament but we couldn’t react to it since it does not belong to us and we were never consulted.

He works alone and he made the law alone, maybe he consulted IEC but he did not consult us because he is working in silo”.

The bill which was presented before the National Assembly about a fortnight ago by Rakuoane proposes has inter alia rendered voter’s card useless for the upcoming 2022 general elections slated for October this year.

“Voters will no longer need a voter’s card to cast their ballot. They only need their IDs. The government realised that it would be a duplication to print voter cards during a time when the country already has no money,” Rakuoane said.

The proposed Bill proposes to “…expedite the registration of electors, archiving of the current electors’ registry, and ensuring that all eligible electors are allowed to register and vote by using the National Identity document as proof of identity and to provide for incidental matters.”

It stipulates that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) may register the elector afresh and archive the existing elector’s register if satisfied that the new elector’s registry is accurate. It says the registration of electors after the archiving of the electors’ register existing at the time shall include the electors previously registered and whose particulars are included in the archived electors register.[1] 

“The IEC will continue to register new voters and add them to the voters roll, those with voter cards will continue to use them but only after the elections[2] ,” Rakuoane said.

The Bill also suggests that a political party that has failed to obtain at least 500 votes in the general elections shall fail to register. Contrary to the recommendations made by the Plenary II report 2019.

The Amendment Bill, however, remains unchanged in Section 27 27 (1) (i), which stipulates the number of members[3]  political parties require to register with the IEC. The reforms plenary report of 2019 suggested that the number of members[4]  should be increased from 500 to 5000.

“The political party whose registration was cancelled in terms of section 27 (1) (i) may apply to be re-registered after a period of five years from the date on which its registration was cancelled,” the Bill reads.

Approached for a comment, Rakuoane declined to comment on the matter and said it would be better addressed by the IEC.

However, IEC spokesperson Tuoe Hantši declined to comment on the Bill citing that the matter is still being discussed by the National Assembly hence it would be premature to discuss it.

“Our stand as IEC is that we can’t comment on the Bill because it has not reached its completion in parliament” Hantši said.

I don’t understand this

Did you mean “but only for this election”?

members or votes. Above you say voters but down here you say members

same thing here. Change to the correct one, which ever one it is

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