Veritas has trashed the proposed Electoral Amendment Bill which was tabled by Cabinet by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi.
In their submissions, Veritas questioned why a driver’s licence was removed as one of the proof of identity and the rationale behind the proposed women and youths quotas.
Under this new legislation, only parties that garner a set threshold during parliamentary elections per given area have the ticket to second their own choices of persons to fill up seats availed by the PR dispensation.
“At present the Electoral Act defines proof of identity as including Zimbabwe passports, national IDs and drivers licenses. The amendment will remove drivers licenses from the list. What this will mean is that people who apply to be registered as voters will have to produce their passports or national IDs under section 24(6) of the Electoral Act – which is fair enough – but it will also mean that people who are already registered as voters will not be able to use their drivers licenses to identify themselves at polling stations in terms of section 56(3) of the Act.
“They should be allowed to do this because drivers licenses are a perfectly acceptable form of identification, and voters who come to a polling station should not have to prove their citizenship. They have already proved they are citizens when they were registered on the voters roll.
Veritas said the other proposal which seeks to add more quotas for women and youths will work in favor of the party that gets the majority votes which creates an unbalanced system.
“We also note that Parliament already has quite enough proportionally-elected members. If there are too many of them Parliament will become unreasonably biased in favor of the party getting most votes, and may cease to be representative.
“This is because proportionally-elected members are elected on the basis of votes cast for constituency members and are not voted for separately, so each vote cast for a constituency member is also cast for one or more proportionally-elected members.
“Also, if proportionally elected members leave Parliament or die in mid-term they are not replaced through by elections so the electorate is not given a say in choosing their replacements,” Veritas said.
Under the 2013 constitution, women already enjoy seats in parliament under the proportional representation system.