ANC dismisses electoral reform proposal

2013-03-04 20:04
Mathole Motshekga (Picture: GCIS)

Mathole Motshekga (Picture: GCIS)

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Cape Town - Changing the country's electoral system will not guarantee MPs become more accountable to voters, ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said on Monday.

Motshekga was responding to a private members' bill tabled in Parliament by Democratic Alliance MP James Selfe.

Selfe proposes the electoral system should be changed to a constituency-based one, ensuring a direct link between MPs and voters.

Motshekga dismissed the proposal, saying the DA was "guilty of deliberate distortion and overlooking the complexity of the subject of electoral reform".

"If one was to remove the noise, propaganda, lies and dishonesty from the debate on electoral reform, the naked reality remains that a different electoral system is no panacea," Motshekga said.

He insisted the current model of proportional representation, adopted in 1994, was inclusive of minority views.

The 400 seats in the National Assembly are allocated according to the number of votes obtained by political parties in general elections.

The DA's electoral amendment bill proposes 100 constituencies around the country, each represented by three MPs.

MPs would be elected by proportional representation, filling 300 of the National Assembly's 400 seats.

The other 100 seats would be allocated to MPs from parties' national lists.

Motshekga said the DA's argument that the bill would lead to improved accountability is misleading.

"Improved accountability, which is a critical feature of democracy, is not dependent solely on an electoral system," he said.

Motshekga suggested the new system would disadvantage smaller parties.

"This system, in which parties and independents nominate candidates for each of 400 constituencies, and the candidate who gets the most votes wins the seat, will result in the replacement of the current multiparty system with a two-party system."

- SAPA

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  james selfe  |  politics  |  parliament 2013
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