Opposition Parties Question Composition of South African Electoral Reform Panel

South African opposition parties, including the Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters, and Inkatha Freedom Party, are criticizing the composition of a 9-member electoral reform consultation panel, citing a lack of representation from civil society, youth, and gender groups, and the exclusion of key individuals, ahead of a National Assembly vote on Thursday. The panel's task is to investigate potential electoral reforms following the May 29 general elections, with implications for the country's democratic stability and governance." This description focuses on the primary topic of the electoral reform consultation panel, the main entities involved (opposition parties and the panel members), the context of the National Assembly vote, and the significant implications for South Africa's democratic stability and governance. It also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content.

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Opposition Parties Question Composition of South African Electoral Reform Panel

Opposition Parties Question Composition of South African Electoral Reform Panel

South African opposition parties, including the Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), have raise, concerns about the composition of the electoral reform consultation panel ahead of a National Assembly vote on Thursday. The nine-member panel, tasked with considering election reforms for the country, has drawn criticism for its lack of representation and the exclusion of key individuals.

Why this matters: The composition of the electoral reform panel has significant implications for the integrity and fairness of South Africa's electoral process, which in turn affects the country's democratic stability and governance. A flawed panel may lead to reforms that favor certain groups or interests, undermining the trust of citizens in the electoral system.

The opposition parties have pointed out the panel's lack of representation from civil society, youth, and gender groups. IFP MP Liezl van der Merwe noted, "It's not about the names that have been tabled, it is about the names that have been left out. We have not included anybody from civil society."

Another point of contention is the exclusion of Terry Tselane, former IEC commissioner and chair of the Institute of Election Management, from the panel. The inclusion of former IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula, who departed from the IEC in 2014 amidst controversy, has also raised eyebrows. The EFF's Thapelo Mogale expressed reservations, stating, "We have reservations given how she departed from the IEC in 2014 in terms of what the Public Protector found against her."

In response to the concerns, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi defended the panel's composition, asserting that all candidates possess the necessary experience and that political parties' picks were merely preferences. Motsoaledi has selected former PAC MP Richard Sizani to lead the panel.

The list of nominees for the electoral reform consultation panel will be put before the National Assembly at its final sitting on Thursday. The panel's task is to investigate potential electoral reforms following the May 29 general elections. The nominees include former elections boss Pansy Tlakula, current IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo, former eThekwini city manager Michael Sutcliffe, and six other individuals.

The opposition parties' concerns may impact the outcome of the National Assembly vote on Thursday, as they seek a more inclusive and representative panel to drive the electoral reform process. The debate surrounding the panel's composition highlights the importance of ensuring diverse perspectives and expertise in shaping South Africa's electoral landscape.

Key Takeaways

  • South African opposition parties raise concerns over electoral reform panel's composition.
  • Panel lacks representation from civil society, youth, and gender groups.
  • Terry Tselane, former IEC commissioner, excluded from the panel.
  • Pansy Tlakula, former IEC chair, included despite 2014 controversy.
  • Opposition parties seek a more inclusive panel for electoral reform process.