5 March 2013

South Africa: Electoral Reform Bill Will Give Power Back to the People

press release

The Democratic Alliance is not surprised by the ANC's negative response to our proposed Electoral Reform Bill. After all, the governing party has had to introduce punitive measures to ensure that its MPs even show up for parliamentary sittings.

This much needed bill would ensure that Members of Parliament are directly held accountable to those whom they represent: the South African people.

This is why the ANC does not like it. The governing party has allowed Parliament to be side-lined, and for power and decision-making to be taken away from those who put MPs here in the first place.

It is time to put South African voters first. It is time for citizens to know exactly who represents them in the National Assembly.

The DA's Electoral Amendment Bill aims to introduce a system whereby 300 MPs would be elected from 100 constituencies across the country. Together with the addition of 100 MPs from a national list, the constitutional principle of proportionality would be given effect to.

The ANC Chief Whip says that the ANC will not discourage the holding of this important debate.

He must now match his words with actions. If the ANC is serious about ensuring that this House is accountable to the people, then it will support this legislative proposal.

This bill, if enacted, will keep every one of us in this House on our toes. And it will give power back to the citizens, and restore their faith in representative politics.

Lindiwe Mazibuko, Parliamentary Leader of the Democratic Alliance

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