CHAPTER 68A
ELECTIONS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and application.

2. Interpretation.

3. Appointment of officers.

4. Electoral Areas.

PART II

REGISTRATION OF VOTERS

5. Qualification for registration.

6. Qualification to vote.

7. Register of voters.

8. Inspection of registers.

9. Certification of register.

10. Display and inspection of registers.

Part IIA

10A. Right of residents of new electoral areas.

10B. Right to register as new voters.

10C. Citizen residing overseas may vote.

PART III

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTION

11. Presidential Election.

12. National Assembly Election.

13. Date of election.

14. Nomination Day.

15. Requirements for nomination.

15A. Power to postpone or adjourn nomination.

16. Withdrawal of candidate.

17. Notice of names of candidates and polling stations.

18. Polling for the elections.

19. Power to postpone or adjourn voting.

20. Polling agents and counting agents.

21. Arrangements at polling.

22. Admission to polling station.

23. Form of ballot paper.

24. Procedure before commencement of election.

24A. Commencement of voting.

25. Procedure for voting.

25A. Time off to exercise vote.

26. Allegation of irregularities.

27. Declaration of voter.

28. No communication with a voter at the polling station.

29. Procedure on the close of poll.

30. Electoral area consisting of islands other than Mahe and Praslin.

31. Enumerators.

32. Person who may be present at counting of votes.

33. Procedure before counting of votes.

34. Counting.

35. Recount.

36. Conclusion of counting.

37. Second ballot.

38. Notice of result of election.

39. Disposal of ballot papers.

40. Delegation.

41. Non attendance of candidate, polling agent or election agent.

42. Right to refuse disclosure of vote.

43. Avoidance of elections.

44. Election Petition.

45. Trial of election.

46. Certificate of counts as to validity of election.

47. Report of court as to illegal practice.

48. Secrecy.

49. Inaccurate description.

50. Electoral campaign.

51. Offences.

52. Penalties.

53. Arrest without warrant.

PART IV

REFERENDUM

54. Reference of issue to Electoral Commission.

55. Date of referendum.

56. Question for approval at referendum.

57. Polling Station and time of voting.

58. Polling for a referendum.

59. Power to adjourn voting.

60. Polling agents and counting agents.

61. Arrangement at polling station.

62. Admission to polling station.

63. Form of ballot paper.

64. Procedure before commencement of voting.

65. Procedure for voting.

66. Allegation of irregularities.

67. Declaration of voter.

68. No communication with voter at polling station.

69. Procedure on close of poll.

70. Electoral areas consisting of islands other than Mahe and Praslin.

71. Enumerator.

72. Person who may be present at the counting.

73. Procedure before counting.

74. Counting.

75. Recount.

76. Conclusion of counting.

77. Notice of result.

78. Disposal of ballot papers.

79. Delegation.

80. Non attendance of persons.

81. Right to refuse disclosure of vote.

82. Avoidance of referendum.

83. Referendum petition.

84. Trial of a referendum petition.

85. Certificate of Court as to validity of referendum.

86. Report of Supreme Court as to illegal practice.

87. Secrecy.

88. Inaccurate description.

89. Referendum campaign.

90. Offences.

91. Penalties.

92. Arrest without a warrant.

PART V

MISCELLANEOUS

93. Election expenses.

94. Limitation on expenses.

95. Right to campaign and right to broadcast in respect of an election.

96. Public meetings.

97. Political Broadcasts.

98. Rules of Court.

99. Regulations.

100. Savings and transitional.

SCHEDULE 1

SCHEDULE 2

SCHEDULE 3

17 of 1995,

19 of 1996,

4 of 2011,

9 of 2011,

27 of 2014,

8 of 2015,

14 of 2015,

13 of 2016.

SI 90 of 1996,

18 of 2015,

60 of 2015,

46 of 2016.

[Date of commencement: 20th November 1995]

[Note: The word “Commissioner” was replaced with the word “Commission” throughout the Act by s 2(b) of Act 9 of 2011.]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

(1) This Act may be cited as the Elections Act.

(2) This Act shall apply for the purposes of—

(a) an election of the President;

(b) an election of a directly elected member of the National Assembly; and

(c) a referendum,

under the Constitution.

2. Interpretation.

In this Act—

“directly elected member” means a member of the National Assembly referred to in article 78(a) of the Constitution;

“election” means a Presidential Election or a National Assembly Election;

“electoral area” means an electoral area referred to in article 112 of the Constitution;

“Electoral Commission”, “Commission” means the Electoral Commission established under article 115 of the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles;

[“Election Commissioner” rep and subs as “Electoral Commission”, “Commission” by s 2(a) of Act 9 of 2011 w.e.f. 18 July 2011.]

“lobby” means a lobby constituted under section 60(2);

“National Assembly Election” means an election to elect a directly elected member;

“Outer Islands” means the islands specified as Outer Islands in Part II of Schedule 1 of the Constitution;

“Presidential Election” means an election to elect the President of Seychelles.

“reside” means being resident in an electoral area for a minimum period of three months.

[Ins by s 2(a) of Act 4 of 2011 w.e.f. 9 May 2011.]

3. Appointment of officers.

(1) The Electoral Commission shall, for the purposes of this Act, appoint—

(a) a Chief Registration Officer who shall, subject to the directions of the Electoral Commission, be responsible for the registration of voters under this Act;

(b) a Chief Electoral Officer who shall, subject to the directions of the Electoral Commission, be responsible for the supervision of elections or a referendum under this Act;

(c) a Registration Officer for each electoral area and such number of Assistant Registration Officers as the Electoral Commission thinks fit for each such area; and

(d) an Electoral Officer for each electoral area and such number of Assistant Electoral Officers as the Electoral Commission thinks fit for each such area.

(2) The Chief Registration Officer and the Chief Electoral Officer may give directions not inconsistent with this Act to any person exercising a function in connection with the registration of voters or the conduct of an election or a referendum, as the case may be, and such person shall comply with the directions.

(3) The Registration Officers and Assistant Registration Officers, may subject to the directions of the Chief Registration Officer, exercise and perform in the electoral areas for which they are appointed, all the functions conferred on the Chief Registration Officer under this Act.

(4) The Electoral Officers and Assistant Electoral Officers, may, subject to the directions of the Chief Electoral Officer, exercise and perform in the electoral areas for which they are appointed all the functions conferred on the Chief Electoral Officer under this Act.

(5) A person appointed under this section may at any time demand from any person any information necessary to ascertain whether the person is qualified to be registered as a voter in an electoral area or to vote in an electoral area.

(6) The Chief Registration Officer of the Chief Electoral Officer or a Registration Officer or an Electoral Officer may, for the purpose of this Act, administer oaths and may require any declaration, information or explanation given by any person for the purpose of this Act to be verified on oath.

(7) An appointment made under subsection (1) shall be published in the Gazette.

(8) A person appointed under subsection (1) shall, before taking office, take and subscribe before the Electoral Commission an oath of secrecy provided by the Commission.

4. Electoral Areas.

For the purposes of this Act, Seychelles shall consist of such number of electoral areas into which Seychelles is divided under articles 112 and 116 of the Constitution:

Provided that the electoral areas into which Seychelles is divided at the commencement of this Act shall, until any determination is made under those articles, be deemed to be the electoral areas for the purposes of this Act.

PART II

REGISTRATION OF VOTERS

5. Qualification for registration.

(1) Every citizen of Seychelles entitled to be registered as a voter under article 114 of the Constitution and who has attained the age of eighteen years shall, if the citizen resides in an electoral area, be registered as a voter in that electoral area unless the citizen—

[S 5(1) am by s 2(a)(i)(A) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(a) is disqualified from registering as a voter under this Act or any other written law;

(b) is under any written law, adjudged or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind or detained as a criminal lunatic at the pleasure of the President;

[S 5(1)(b) am by s 2(a)(i)(B) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(c) is serving a sentence of imprisonment exceeding six months imposed by a court in Seychelles.

[S 5(1)(c) am by s 2(a)(i)(C) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(2) No person shall be registered as a voter in more than one electoral area.

(3) Any citizen of Seychelles living overseas may be registered as a voter if—

(a) he is issued with a National Identity Card under the National Identity Cards Act; and

(b) he resides in an electoral area for a minimum period of three months, immediately prior to registration.

[S 5(3) ins by s 2(a)(ii) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

6. Qualification to vote.

Every person registered as a voter in an electoral area is entitled to vote, in accordance with this Act, at an election or at a referendum in the electoral area unless—

(a) any circumstances, other than the fact that the person no longer resides in the electoral area, have arisen which if the person were not registered as a voter would cause the person to be disqualified under section 5(1)(a), (b) or (c);

(b) the person is serving a sentence of imprisonment.

[S 6(b) am by s 2(b) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

7. Register of voters.

(1) The Chief Registration Officer shall for every year prepare a register of voters, for each electoral area.

(2) In the preparation of a register of voters under subsection (1), the Chief Registration Officer may use—

(a) any information furnished to the Chief Officer of the Civil Status for the issue of a National Identity Card under the National Identity Cards Act, 1995 and for that purpose may require the Chief Officer of the Civil Status to communicate to the Chief Registration Officer such information;

(b) any information furnished to the Chief Officer of the Civil Status for the registration of births and deaths under the Civil Status Act and for that purpose may require the Chief Officer of the Civil Status to communicate to the Chief Registration Officer such information;

(c) any information recorded in the National Population Data Base compiled by the Chief Officer of the Civil Status and for that purpose may require any such information to be communicated to the Chief Registration Officer;

(d) any information recorded in the register maintained under section 9 of the Citizenship Act, 1994 and, for that purpose, may require the Citizenship Officer to communicate to the Chief Registration Officer such information;

(e) notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Census Act, any information compiled by a census officer under that Act, and for that purpose may require the Census Commission to communicate to the Chief Registration Officer such information;

(f) any information furnished to the Chief Registration Officer by any person who is or claims to be entitled to have the name of that person entered in a Register of voters in an electoral area; or

(g) such other information as the Chief Registration Officer may obtain from a house to house or other sufficient inquiry.

(h) information contained in any previous register of voters.

(3) The information acquired under subsection (2)(a) to (g) shall only be used for the preparation of a register of voters and shall not be divulged or communicated to any person otherwise than in the performance of the functions under this Act.

(4) The Chief Registration Officer may, on information referred to in subsection (2), revise not less than once in each year the registers prepared under subsection (1) for the purposes of—

(a) removing any obsolete entries;

(b) correcting any mistake in respect of the name and other particulars of a registered voter;

(c) where a registered voter has changed the residence to another electoral area, registering the voter in the register of that area;

(d) deleting the name and other particulars of a person not qualified to be entered as a registered voter.

(e) inserting the name and other particulars of a person entitled to have the name of that person entered in the register under subsection (5).

(5) The register of voters prepared or revised under subsection (1) or subsection (4) shall contain—

(a) names of persons who on 1st January of the year for which the register is prepared or revised are entitled to be registered as voters; and

(b) ...

[S 7(5)(b) rep by s 2(c)(i) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(6)...

[S 7 rep and subs by s 2(a) of Act 19 of 1996 w.e.f. 9 December 1996; s 7(6) rep by s 2(c)(ii) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

8. Inspection of registers.

(1) The Chief Registration Officer shall not later than 15th January of each year publish a notice in the Gazette and a local newspaper inviting any person who is or claims to be entitled to have the name of that person entered in the register of voters in an electoral area to inspect the registers prepared or revised under section 7 during the preceding year.

[S 8(1) rep and subs by s 2(a) of Act 19 of 1996 w.e.f. 9 December 1996; am by s 2(d)(i) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(1A) The register of voters shall, throughout the year, remain open for inspection:

Provided that the register of voters shall be closed for inspection for the period—

(a) from the date of the issue of the notice under section 13(1) by the Electoral Commission; and

(b) in case of a by-election, from the date on which the Speaker declares the seat vacant,

to the date of the declaration of result of election under section 38.

[S 8(1A) ins by s 2(d)(ii) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(1B) The Electoral Commission shall, make year round arrangements for registration of new voters, claims or objections, transfer of voters from one electoral area to another and to make changes in the demographic information on the register of voters.

[S 8(1B) ins by s 2(d)(ii) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(1C) The establishment of registration centres, procedures for submitting applications, claims or objections and verifications thereof, appeals, if any, and publication of register of voters and other related matters shall, subject to this section, be as provided in Schedule 3.

[S 8(1C) ins by s 2(d)(ii) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(2) Any person who is or claims to be entitled to be entitled to have the name of that person entered in a register of voters in any electoral area may at any time during office hours, on application made to the Registration Officer of that area in a form to be provided by the Electoral Commission, inspect the register of voters for that area.

[S 8(2) rep and subs by s 2(a) of Act 19 of 1996 w.e.f. 9 December 1996; am by s 2(d)(iii) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(2A) A registered voter who has changed his residence from one electoral area to another, may request for his registration as a voter to be transferred to the electoral area of his new residence.

[S 8(2A) ins by s 2(d)(iv) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(3) Any person who—

(a) claims to be entitled to have the name of that person entered in a register of voters in an electoral area but whose name does not appear on the register of voters in that area;

(b) claims to be incorrectly entered on the register of that area;

(bb) makes a claim for transfer of his registration as voter from one electoral area to another;

[S 8(3)(bb) ins by s 2(d)(v)(A) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(c) objects to the name of the person, or, being a person whose name appears on the register, objects to the name of any other person, appearing on the register of that area,

may submit a claim or objection, to the Registration Officer of that area in such form as may be provided by the Electoral Commission.

[S 8(3) rep and subs by s 2(a) of Act 19 of 1996 w.e.f. 9 December 1996; am by s 2(d)(v)(B) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(4) The Registration Officer shall take a decision on the claims or objections, as the case may be, made under subsection (3) in accordance with the provisions contained in Schedule 3.

[S 8(4) rep and subs by s 2(d)(vi) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(5) Where the registration of a voter has been transferred from one electoral area to another, the details of the voter shall be entered in the register of voters in the electoral area where he resides and his registration as a voter in old electoral area shall be deleted.

[S 8(5) rep and subs by s 2(d)(vi) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(6) ...

[S 8(6) rep by s 2(d)(vi) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(7) Any person affected by a decision on a claim or objection made under subsection (3), may within seven days of being notified, appeal against the decision to the Chief Registration officer.

[S 8(7) rep and subs by s 2(a) of Act 19 of 1996 w.e.f. 9 December 1996; am by s 2(d)(vii) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(8) The Chief Registration Officer shall, after giving four days notice in writing to the person who made the appeal under subsection (7), which notice shall be given within three days after receiving the appeal, hear the person if the person appears in response to the notice, and after considering such other evidence as the Chief Registration Officer thinks relevant and necessary allow or reject the appeal.

[S 8(8) rep and subs by s 2(a) of Act 19 of 1996 w.e.f. 9 December 1996;

(9) ...

[S 8 rep and subs by s 2(a) of Act 19 of 1996 w.e.f. 9 December 1996; s 8(9) rep by s 2(d)(viii) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

9. Certification of register.

(1) The Chief Registration Officer shall, after all claims, objections and appeals have been concluded under section 8, amend the register of voters for each electoral area accordingly and certify the registers:

[S 9(1) rep and subs by s 2(a) of Act 19 of 1996 w.e.f. 9 December 1996.]

Provided that the amended registers of voters under this subsection shall be certified and published on the 31st March:

[S 9(1) first proviso ins by s 2(e)(i) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f 15 May 2015.]

Provided further that the Chief Registration Officer shall in a year in which an election is held, amend the register of voters—

(a) for each electoral area by including therein or deleting therefrom the names of persons registered as voters or otherwise between the period from the date on which the registers were previously certified and the date on which the notice under section 13(1) was issued; and

(b) in case of a by-election, for that electoral area including therein or deleting therefrom the names of persons registered as voters or otherwise between the period from the date on which the register was previously certified and the date on which the Speaker declares the seat vacant,

and certify and publish such amended registers of voters, as early as practicable.

[S 9(1) second proviso ins by s 2(e)(i) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f 15 May 2015.]

(2) The registers of voters certified under subsection (1) shall be the registers for the purposes of an election or referendum held in any period prior to the next following certification of the registers under that subsection.

[S 9(2) rep and subs by s 2(a) of Act 19 of 1996 w.e.f. 9 December 1996.]

(3) The Electoral Commission shall provide the registered political parties with an electronic copy in a secured format as determined by the Electoral Commission and a hard copy of the registers of voters and amended registers of voters, if any, as certified under subsection (1) which shall contain only the name, date of birth, address, National Identity Number and electoral area, of the voters.

[S 9(3) rep and subs by s 2(a) of Act 8 of 2015 w.e.f. 25 September 2015.]

10. Display and inspection of registers.

The Registration Officer shall display the registers of voters certified under section 9 for inspection by a new voter or a voter who applied for any change, to verify that his name has been entered or change has been effected in the register.

[S 10 rep and subs by s 2(f) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

PART IIA

[Part IIA ins by s 2(a) of Act 13 of 2016 w.e.f. 20 June 2016.]

10A. Right of residents of new electoral areas.

Notwithstanding section 5, where an electoral area published under Article 116(5) of the Constitution has not come into operation and an election or referendum is held before the dissolution of the National Assembly a citizen who is a resident of the electoral area so published and who has registered as a voter in any electoral area may vote in the electoral area where he or she has registered.

10B. Right to register as new voters.

Notwithstanding section 5, a citizen residing in an electoral area published under article 116(5) and who has attained the age of eighteen years, may register as a voter in the electoral area of his or her last known residence and vote in an election or referendum specified in section 10A unless he or she is disqualified from registration under section 5(1).

10C. Citizen residing overseas may vote.

Notwithstanding section 5(3), any citizen of Seychelles living overseas who is residing in an electoral area published under article 116(5), may register as a voter in an electoral area where he or she last resided before leaving to reside overseas unless he or she is disqualified from registration under section 5(1).

PART III

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTION

11. Presidential Election.

A Presidential Election for the election of the President shall be held during the period specified in paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 of the Constitution.

12. National Assembly Election.

(1) A National Assembly Election may be—

(a) a general election;

[S 12(a) am by s 2(b)(A)(i) of Act 13 of 2016 w.e.f. 20 June 2016.]

(b) a by-election,

(c) an election for a new electoral area published under article 116,

[S 12(c) ins by s 2(b)(A)(ii) of Act 13 of 2016 w.e.f. 20 June 2016.]

for the election of the directly elected members of the National Assembly.

(2) A general election shall be held—

(a) during the period specified in Article 79(1) of the Constitution, where the Assembly would stand dissolved by effluxion of the period specified in article 106(1) of the Constitution; or

(b) during the period of three (3) months beginning with the date the Assembly would stand dissolved under article 106(3) of the Constitution; or

(c) during the period of three (3) months beginning with the date the Assembly would stand dissolved under article 110 or article 111 of the Constitution.

(3) A by-election shall be held during the period specified in article 79(2) of the Constitution.

(4) An election to an area specified under subsection (l)(c) shall be held within a period of one year from the date of the next dissolution of the National Assembly after the electoral area is so published.

[S 12(4) ins by s 2(b)(B) of Act 13 of 2016 w.e.f. 20 June 2016.]

(5) The Electoral Commission may, for holding an election under subsection (4), require the residents to register as voters or apply for transfer of their registration, or by itself transfer the voters residing in that electoral area who are registered as voters in other electoral areas having regard to the census of residents held immediately before or after the coming into operation of the electoral area under article 116.

[S 12(5) ins by s 2(b)(B) of Act 13 of 2016 w.e.f. 20 June 2016.]

13. Date of election.

(1) The Electoral Commission shall, by notice in the Gazette, appoint the date or dates on which a Presidential Election or a National Assembly Election shall be held under this Act.

(2) The Electoral Commission may appoint different dates for the holding of a Presidential Election or a National Assembly Election or for the holding of those elections in different electoral areas.

(3) Where a Presidential Election and a National Assembly Election are to be held simultaneously the two elections shall begin on the same day.

14. Nomination Day.

(1) The Electoral Commission shall, at least 21 days before the earliest date fixed under section 13 for a Presidential Election or a National Assembly Election, hereafter referred to as the “election day”, by notice in the Gazette, appoint the date, place and time for the nomination of candidates for the Presidential Election or the National Assembly Election and shall in the notice specify—

(a) the sum required to be deposited or secured with the Electoral Commission by each candidate for each such election and the form and manner in which such sum shall be deposited or secured;

[S 14(1)(a) am by s 2(g)(i) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(b) the number of persons required to endorse the nomination paper of each such candidate.

(2) The Electoral Commission may, in the case of a National Assembly Election, appoint the same place or different places for nomination of candidates for the election.

(3) The date appointed under subsection (1) shall hereafter be referred to as the “Nomination day”.

(4) The filing of nomination of candidates on the Nomination day shall be from 9 am to 1 pm.

[S 14(4) ins by s 2(g)(ii) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(5) The sum specified by the Electoral Commission under subsection (1)(a) shall not be less than—

(a) R15000 in the case of the Presidential Election; and

(b) R1500 in the case of a National Assembly Election.

[S 14(5) ins by s 2(g)(ii) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(6) The number of persons specified by the Electoral Commission under subsection (1)(b) shall not be less than—

(a) 500 persons in the case of the Presidential Election; and

(b) 50 persons in the case of a National Assembly Election.

[S 14(6) ins by s 2(g)(ii) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

15. Requirements for nomination.

(1) Every candidate for a Presidential Election or a National Assembly Election shall be nominated by means of a nomination paper provided for the purposes by the Electoral Commission.

(2) The nomination paper shall be submitted by each candidate on the nomination day at the time and place appointed in the notice published under section 14—

(a) in the case of the Presidential Election to the Chief Electoral Officer; and

(b) in the case of the National Assembly Election, to the Electoral Officer appointed for the electoral area for which the candidate proposes to stand for election.

(3) The nomination paper submitted by each candidate for a Presidential Election or a National Assembly Election shall be signed by the candidate and—

(a) in the case of the Presidential Election, shall be endorsed to the satisfaction of the Chief Electoral Officer by such number of persons entitled to vote at that election as is specified in the notice published under section 14(1);

(b) in the case of a National Assembly Election, shall be endorsed to the satisfaction of the Electoral Officer by such number of persons entitled to vote at that election in the electoral area for which the candidate stands for election as is specified in the notice published under section 14(1).

(4) Each nomination paper shall be accompanied by—

(a) a certificate issued by the Electoral Commission certifying the deposit of or securing the sum specified in the notice published under section 14(1);

(b) such number of photographs of the candidate in such form and of such size as the Electoral Commission may specify in the nomination paper provided by the Commission; and

(c) a symbol or a colour to identify the political party of the candidate, or, if the candidate is an independent candidate, the candidate along with a copy of the symbol or the colour in digital format

[S 15(4)(c) am by s 2(h)(i) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(5) Any nomination paper submitted after the expiration of the time specified in the notice published under section 14(1) shall be invalid and shall be rejected.

(6) After the expiration of the time specified in the notice published under section 14(1) for submission of nominations—

(a) in the case of the Presidential Election, the Chief Electoral Officer;

(b) in the case of a National Assembly Election, the Electoral Officer to whom the nomination is submitted,

shall, as soon as is practicable thereafter, determine whether to accept or reject the nomination paper submitted within the time specified in the notice.

(7) For the purposes of subsection (6), the Chief Election Officer or the Electoral Officer, as the case may be, shall permit each candidate to examine the nomination papers of other candidates.

(8) A candidate may object the acceptance of a nomination paper of any other candidate on the grounds that—

(a) the other candidate is not qualified to stand for the election for which the candidate seeks to stand;

(b) the nomination paper does not comply with subsections (1) to (4);

(c) the description of the candidate on the nomination paper is insufficient to identify the candidate;

(d) the candidate is not registered as a voter in the last published register of voters; or

(e) the candidate already stands nominated for Presidential election or, as the case may be, for another electoral area in case of a National Assembly election.

[S 15(8) rep and subs by s 2(h)(ii) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(9) The Chief Electoral Officer or, as the case may be, the Electoral Officer shall consider the objections and determine whether to accept or reject the nomination paper.

(9A) The Chief Electoral Officer shall, before taking a decision on the objection, give the candidate against whom the objection is made an opportunity of being heard.

[S 15(9A) ins by s 2(h)(iii) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(9B) Where the Chief Electoral Officer or, as the case may be, the Electoral Officer rejects the nomination paper of a candidate, the sum deposited or secured pursuant to the notice under section 14(1) shall be refunded or returned.

[S 15(9B) ins by s 2(h)(iii) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(10) The determination made under this section by the Chief Electoral Officer or, as the case may be, the Electoral Officer shall be final.

(11) The determination made under subsection (9) shall not prevent the validity of the nomination of a candidate from being questioned in an election petition under section 44.

(12) Articles 51(1) and (2), 113, 114 of the Constitution shall apply for the purposes of the Presidential Election.

(13) Articles 79(3) to (7), 80, 113 and 114 of the Constitution shall apply for the purposes of a National Assembly Election.

(14) Save as provided in the Third Schedule of the Constitution, the Chief Electoral Officer or, as the case may be, the Electoral Officer shall, on the Nomination day, follow the procedure as specified in Schedule 3.

[S 15(14) ins by s 2(h)(iv) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

15A. Power to postpone or adjourn nomination.

Where proceedings at a nomination day are interrupted or obstructed by riot, violence, or force majeure the Chief Electoral Officer or, as the case may be, the Electoral Officer may—

(a) adjourn the proceedings until the following day;

(b) shall affix a notice to that effect in a conspicuous place at the nomination centre; and

(c) shall forthwith notify the Electoral Commission and the Chief Electoral Officer, as the case may be, of the adjournment.

[S 15A ins by s 2(i) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

16. Withdrawal of candidate.

A candidate for the Presidential Election or a National Assembly Election may withdraw the nomination at any time by notice in writing to the Electoral Commission and shall, where the candidate withdraws the nomination at least seven days before the election day, be refunded the deposit or returned the security for the deposit specified in the notice under section 14.

17. Notice of names of candidates and polling stations.

(1) The Chief Electoral Officer shall at least 15 days before election day by notice published in the Gazette and a local newspaper specify—

(a) the address of the polling station for each electoral areas;

(b) the time when voting may commence and the time of closing of the poll;

(c) the names of each candidate for the election, the name of the registered political party of which the candidate is a member or the fact that the candidate is an independent candidate and the symbol or the colour of each candidate;

(d) where Presidential Election and a National Assembly Election are held simultaneously—

(i) the Chief Electoral Officer may specify under paragraph (a) the same polling station for the conduct of each such election; and

(ii) the particulars in paragraph (c) shall be specified separately for each such election.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1)(b), the Electoral Officer of an electoral area shall allow a voter of the electoral area who at the time specified for the closing of the poll in the notice published under that subsection—

(a) is inside the polling station; or

(b) in the opinion of the Electoral Officer, was in the immediate precincts of the polling station at that time but was prevented from entering the polling station because of congestion therein,

to vote at the election before closing the poll.

18. Polling for the elections.

(1) Subject to subsections (2), (3) and (4) polling for—

(a) a Presidential shall be conducted at each of the polling stations specified for each electoral area under section 17;

(b) a National Assembly Election shall, in respect of each electoral area for which an election is held, be conducted at the polling station specified for that area under section 17.

(2) The Chief Electoral Officer shall provide voting facilities for voters—

(a) temporarily on Mahé, who are registered in electoral areas other than those situated on Mahé, on the date of the election in those electoral areas;

(b) temporarily residing on the Island of Praslin, and Inner Islands for employment reasons, who are registered in electoral areas on Mahé;

(c) incapacitated and elderly residing in the institutions set out in the schedule 1; and

(d) who are registered in any electoral areas and employed in the essential services, as set out in the schedule 2, and on the date of election are on duty away from their electoral area.

(e) who are for the time being detained but not serving a sentence of imprisonment under any written law.

[18(2)(e) ins by s 2(j) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(f) in any other special circumstances the Chief Electoral Officer considers it appropriate.

[S 18(2) rep and subs by s 2(b) of Act 4 of 2011 w.e.f. 9 May 2011; 18(2)(f) ins by s 2 of Act 14 of 2015 w.e.f. 19 October 2015.]

(2A) Voters under subsection (2) when so voting shall be deemed to have voted in the electoral area in which they have registered.

[S 18(2A) ins by s 2(b) of Act 4 of 2011 w.e.f. 9 May 2011.]

(3) Polling for an election in the Outer Islands shall be conducted in such manner as the Chief Electoral Officer determines and any voter so voting shall be deemed to have voted in the electoral area in which the voter is registered.

(4) The Chief Electoral Officer shall provide voting facilities for Electoral Officers, Assistant Electoral Officers and police officers on duty at a polling station of an electoral area other than that in which they are registered as voters to vote on the day on which they are on duty or on the immediately preceding day and when they have so voted they shall be deemed to have voted in the electoral area in which they are registered.

(5) The Chief Electoral Officer shall provide sufficient ballot boxes for an election at each polling station.

(6) Where polling for a Presidential Election and a National Assembly Election are held simultaneously—

(a) polling for each such election shall be conducted simultaneously at each polling station;

(b) sufficient ballot boxes shall be provided separately for each such election;

(c) the Electoral Officer at each polling station shall organise and conduct the polling station so as to avoid any confusion which may arise by reason of each such election being held simultaneously at each such polling station;

(d) it shall not be necessary to call out the number and particulars of the voter twice by reason of the voter voting in both elections but where such requirements are complied with immediately before the voter is issued with the ballot paper for one election, this may be dispensed with for the other election before the issue of the ballot paper for the other election.

19. Power to postpone or adjourn voting.

(1) Where proceedings at a polling station are interrupted or obstructed by riot or violence, the Electoral Officer of the station may adjourn the proceedings until the following day, shall affix a notice to that effect in a conspicuous place at the polling station and shall forthwith notify the Electoral Commission and the Chief Electoral Officer of the adjournment.

(2) Where proceedings are adjourned at a polling station under subsection (1), the hours of polling on the following day shall be the same as those specified for the day on which the election was originally scheduled to take place.

20. Polling agents and counting agents.

(1) Each candidate may appoint a person to be known as a polling agent to attend at the polling station during voting and a person to be known as a counting agent to attend the counting of votes at the place of counting votes.

(2) A candidate shall not later than seven days before the election day notify in writing the Chief Electoral Officer, the name, National Identity Number and address of the polling agent and counting agent of the candidate.

(3) The Chief Electoral Officer shall as soon as is practicable before the election day issue a polling agent and a counting agent a certificate and—

(a) an Electoral Officer shall not allow a person to attend at a polling station as a polling agent;

(b) the Chief Electoral Officer or the Electoral Officer, as the case may be, shall not allow a person to attend at the counting of votes as a counting agent,

unless the person holds the certificate issued by the Chief Electoral Officer.

(4) When the polling agent or the counting agent of a candidate dies or becomes incapable of performing functions as polling agent or counting agent before the election day, the candidate shall forthwith appoint another person as polling agent or counting agent, as the case may be, and shall notify the Chief Electoral Officer in writing of the change and the reasons therefor and the Chief Electoral Officer shall issue a certificate to the person so appointed.

(5) A polling agent shall, as far as is practicable, be so posted at a polling station so as to be able to see each person being called, see the ballot paper being handed and see the entrance of the compartment used by the voter for the purpose of recording the vote but so that the polling agent cannot see how the voter votes.

(6) A candidate may appoint more than one person as a polling agent but not more than one such person shall at any one time be posted at a polling station as the polling agent of the candidate.

(7) A candidate may appoint the same person as the polling agent and counting agent and, where a Presidential Election and a National Assembly Election are held simultaneously, a person appointed as polling agent for a candidate nominated by a political party for the Presidential Election may be appointed as the polling agent for a candidate of the same political party for a National Assembly Election at the same polling station.

21. Arrangements at polling.

(1) A polling station shall be furnished with—

(a) such number of compartments as the Electoral Officer of that station thinks necessary for the purpose of allowing voters to record their votes screened from observation;

(b) sufficient number of ballot boxes for the election;

(c) notices both inside and outside the station, containing instructions relating to the voting to be followed at the election;

(d) notices showing the name of each candidate at the election together with the photograph of the candidate, the registered political party or the independent status of the candidate and the symbol or colour of the candidate as the case may be;

(e) sufficient copies of the register of voters for the electoral area certified under section 9; and

(f) such other things which the Chief Electoral Officer may, direct to be kept at the polling agent.

(1A) A polling agent of a candidate shall not carry into or use in the polling station any electronic or telecommunication instrument or device unless authorised by the Electoral Commission.

[S 21(1A) ins by s 2(k) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(2) Where the Presidential Election and a National Assembly Election are held simultaneously at the same polling station—

(a) the polling station shall be furnished with sufficient number of ballot boxes for each such election;

(b) the notices specified in subsection (1)(c) and (d) shall contain the particulars separately for each such election.

(3) A ballot box shall be so constructed that a voter can put the ballot paper inside but cannot withdraw it from the box without breaching the seal of the box referred to in section 24.

22. Admission to polling station.

(1) The Electoral Officer of a polling station shall—

(a) regulate the admission of persons wishing to vote at the polling station;

(b) exclude all other persons, other than a person selected by a voter under section 25(3), the candidates, polling agents of the candidates, the leaders of registered political parties of the candidates, Assistant Electoral Officers, police officers on duty, Electoral Commission, Chief Electoral Officer or any person authorised by the Electoral Commission or the Chief Electoral Officer.

(2) The Electoral Officer of a polling station may order a police officer or any person authorised in writing by the Electoral Officer to remove a person who misbehaves or fails to obey lawful orders of the Electoral Officer at the polling station and the person so removed shall not, unless authorised by the Electoral Officer, again be allowed to enter the polling station and may be charged with the commission of an offence.

23. Form of ballot paper.

The ballot paper shall be in such form and such colour as the Electoral Commission may approve and where a Presidential Election and a National Assembly Election are held simultaneously the ballot paper for the Presidential Election shall have at its outer edges on both sides of the ballot paper a border in such colour as the Electoral Commission may approve so as to differentiate it from the ballot paper for the National Assembly election.

24. Procedure before commencement of election.

The Electoral Officer at the polling station shall, immediately before the beginning of voting at a polling station, show to persons lawfully present at the station that the ballot boxes are empty and then shall close and seal the boxes in such a manner as to prevent the boxes from being opened without the seals being broken.

24A. Commencement of voting.

(1) The voting for an election shall begin at 7 am and end at 7 pm.

(2) Where the voting at a polling station does not begin at the time specified under subsection (1) or the voting has been discontinued by the Electoral Officer or the Assistant Electoral Officer for any reason which in the opinion of the Electoral Officer or, as the case may be, the Assistant Electoral Officer sufficient to discontinue the voting, the Chief Electoral Officer or the Electoral Officer, may extend the time of voting at the polling station by such time the voting was delayed or discontinued.

[S 24A ins by s 2(l) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

25. Procedure for voting.

(1) Voting for an election at the polling station shall be conducted in substance and as nearly as possible in the following manner—

(a) a person wishing to vote at the polling station shall—

(i) attend personally the polling station;

(ii) produce the National Identity Card of the person or satisfy the Electoral Officer of the identity and that the person has not voted at the station or elsewhere at the election;

(b) the Electoral Officer, on being satisfied as provided in paragraph (a), shall—

(i) call out the number and particulars of the person as stated in the copy of the register of voters at the polling station;

(ii) stamp a ballot paper with an official mark and deliver it to the person;

(iii) place a mark against the name of the person on the copy of the register of voters to denote that a ballot paper in respect of the election has been delivered to the person; and

(iv) explain to the person how to record the vote; and

(c) subject to subsection (3), the person shall go immediately into one of the compartments at the polling station and, without delay, record the vote in the manner explained in the notices referred to in section 21(1)(c) and by the Electoral Officer, fold the ballot paper in such manner as not to reveal the identity of the candidate for whom the vote has been recorded and place the ballot paper in the ballot box provided for this purpose.

(2) Where the Presidential Election and a National Assembly election are held simultaneously, subsection (1) shall apply subject to the following provisions—

(a) subsection (1)(b)(i) shall be subject to section 18(6)(d);

(b) in complying with subsection (1)(b)(ii), the Electoral Officer shall stamp and deliver a ballot paper separately for each such election;

(c) in complying with subsection (1)(c), fold and place each such ballot paper in the manner specified in that subsection.

(3) Where a voter is incapacitated by blindness, or other physical cause or otherwise or is illiterate, the voter shall, after receiving the ballot paper or the ballot papers, as the case may be, enter the compartment or the place designated for the purpose by the Electoral Officer accompanied by the Electoral Officer and a person selected by the voter and in the presence of the person selected direct the Electoral Officer how the vote is to be cast and the Electoral Officer shall in the presence of the person selected mark the ballot paper or the ballot papers, of the voter accordingly, fold the ballot paper or ballot papers in such manner as not to reveal the identity of the candidate for whom the vote has been recorded and after leaving the compartment or the place designated for the purpose by the Electoral Officer with the voter and the other person place the ballot paper or ballot papers in the ballot box provided for this purpose and the voter shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to have voted.

(4) An Electoral Officer or an Assistant Electoral Officer—

(a) shall not refuse admission to the polling station of the person selected by a voter referred to in subsection (3); and

(b) shall allow the person selected by a voter to be present at the time when the voter is instructing the Electoral Officer how the vote is to be cast and the Electoral Officer is marking the ballot paper or each of the ballot papers.

(5) A voter or the Electoral Officer, as the case may be, shall not place on the ballot paper or ballot papers any writing or mark by which the voter may be identified.

25A. Time off to exercise vote.

(1) Every employer shall, on the day notified by the Electoral Commission for voting, provide every employee under him, who is a registered voter, sufficient time off to enable such employee to exercise his right to vote.

(2) The Employer shall not make any deductions from the pay or other remunerations of the employee so permitted to cast his vote.

[S 25A ins by s 2(m) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 215 May 2015.]

26. Allegation of irregularities.

(1) Where an Electoral Officer at a polling station has reason to believe or a polling agent at that station alleges that a person wishing to vote at the station is not a person entitled to vote at the station, the Electoral Officer shall—

(a) advise the person accordingly, giving reasons for the belief or, where the polling agent has made an allegation referred to in this subsection, require the polling agent to state in the presence of the person wishing to vote the reason for the allegation;

(b) warn the person that the person may commit an offence under this Act by voting.

(2) Where the polling agent refuses to state the reason for the allegation referred to in subsection (1), the Electoral Officer shall disregard the allegation.

(3) Where an Electoral Officer has warned under subsection (1) a person wishing to vote and notwithstanding the warning the person—

(a) persists in voting;

(b) produces evidence that the person is the person entitled to vote;

(c) makes and subscribes to the declaration referred to in section 27,

the Electoral Officer shall record in writing the full name and address which the person gives as the name and address and comply with section 25(1)(b)(ii), (iii) and (iv) and, where the person votes, state that fact in the record.

27. Declaration of voter.

(1) An Electoral Officer at a polling station shall, in the circumstances specified in section 26(1), require a person who persists in voting, before the person is given the ballot paper to make and subscribe to a declaration in the form provided by the Electoral Officer.

(2) Where a person referred to in subsection (1) fails to make and subscribe to the declaration referred to in that subsection, the Electoral Officer shall refuse to give to the person the ballot paper or the ballot papers.

28. No communication with a voter at the polling station.

No person, other than the Chief Electoral Officer or the Electoral Officer or Assistant Electoral Officer of the polling station, shall communicate with a voter while the voter is in the polling station for the purpose of voting and the Electoral Officer may require any person who contravenes this section to leave the polling station.

29. Procedure on the close of poll.

(1) The Electoral Officer shall, as soon as is practicable, after each ballot box is full and in respect of other ballot boxes after the close of the poll, in the presence of the respective polling agents who wish to attend—

(a) close and seal the aperture of each ballot box and place the seal of the Electoral Officer thereto and allow the respective polling agents who are present to place their seals thereto;

(b) make up in a separate packet the unused ballot papers;

(c) mark the copy of the register of voters;

(d) complete a statement, to be known as the ballot paper account, in the form provided by the Electoral Commission;

(e) place the packet of unused ballot papers and register of voters referred to in paragraphs (b) and (c) together with any record made under section 26(3) in a bag and seal the bag with the seal of the Electoral Officer.

(2) Where a Presidential Election and a National Assembly Election are held simultaneously the Electoral Office shall in complying with subsection (1)(b), (d) and (e) do so separately in respect of each such election.

(3) After complying with subsection (1) and subject to section 30, the Electoral Officer shall, as soon as is practicable, make arrangements, for the counting of votes at the polling station and give notice of the time of counting to the candidates, if they are present, and the counting agents of each of the candidates and commence the counting of votes at the time specified in the notice and in the manner specified in sections 33 and 34.

30. Electoral area consisting of islands other than Mahe and Praslin.

(1) In the case of a Presidential Election or a National Assembly Election at the electoral area consisting of the islands other than Mahe and Praslin, the Electoral Officer shall, after complying with section 29(1)(a) to (e), forward the sealed ballot boxes, the bags and the ballot paper accounts in respect of the election to an Electoral Officer designated for the purpose by the Chief Electoral Officer who shall hereafter be referred to as the “Designated Electoral Officer”.

(2) The Designated Electoral Officer shall, after the receipt under subsection (1) of the ballot boxes for the electoral area consisting of the islands other than Mahe and Praslin—

(a) make arrangement for counting of votes;

(b) give notice of the place and time, which shall not be earlier than the close of poll of other electoral areas, of the counting of votes to the candidates, if they are present, and to the counting agents of each of the candidates; and

(c) commence the counting of votes at the time and place specified in the notice and in the manner specified in sections 33 and 34.

31. Enumerators.

The Chief Electoral Officer may appoint such assistants, to be known as the enumerators, as the Chief Electoral Officer thinks necessary for the purpose of assisting the Chief Electoral Officer, the Electoral Officer or the Designated Electoral Officer, as the case may be, in the counting of votes.

32. Person who may be present at counting of votes.

Except with the consent of the Electoral Commission, Chief Electoral Officer, the Electoral Officer or the Designated Electoral Officer no person, other than the enumerators, candidates, the counting agents of candidates and the leaders of the registered political parties of the candidates shall be present at the counting of votes at the respective places of counting.

33. Procedure before counting of votes.

The Electoral Officer or the Designated Electoral Officer, as the case may be, shall, at the time and place notified for the counting of votes and, in the presence of the candidates, if they are present, and the counting agents of each candidate who may be present, examine and offer the candidates and the counting agents the opportunity to also examine the seals of all ballot boxes and sealed bags referred to in section 29 or section 30, as the case may be.

34. Counting.

(1) The Electoral Officer or the Designated Electoral Officer, as the case may be, shall in respect of an election or, where the Presidential Election and a National Assembly Election are held simultaneously in respect of each such election separately, in the presence of the candidates, if they are present, with the help of enumerators examine, count and record the number of ballot papers contained in each ballot box.

(2) Where a ballot paper—

(i) does not bear the official mark referred to in section 25;

(ii) has anything written or marked by which a voter can be identified;

(iii) is mutilated or torn; or

(iv) does not contain a clear indication of the candidate for whom the voter has voted,

the ballot paper, shall be rejected and shall be endorsed with the word “rejected” by the Electoral Officer or the Designated Electoral Officer, as the case may be, and if a candidate or a counting agent of a candidate who may be present objects to the decision of the Electoral Officer or the Designated Electoral Officer, as the case may be, also with the words “rejection objected to”.

(3) The ballot papers, other than those rejected under subsection (2), shall, in respect of an election or, where the Presidential Election and the National Assembly Election are held simultaneously, in respect of each such election separately, be thereafter sorted into different groups according to the indication of the candidate for whom the voter has voted, the ballot papers in each group shall be counted and the Electoral Officer or the Designated Electoral Officer, as the case may be, shall record the number of ballot papers in each group.

(4) The ballot papers shall be kept with their faces upwards while being counted and recorded.

(5) Subject to the decision of the court on an election petition, the decision of the Electoral Officer or Designated Electoral Officer, as the case may be, as to the question arising in respect of a ballot paper is final.

(6) The Electoral Officer or the Designated Electoral Officer, as the case may be, shall prepare a statement showing the number of ballot papers rejected under the following heads—

(a) want of official stamp;

(b) writing or mark by which a voter could be identified;

(c) mutilated or torn;

(d) absence of a clear indication of the candidate for whom the voter has voted,

and shall, on request, allow the candidate, if present, or the counting agent of each candidate, as may be present, to copy the statement.

35. Recount.

(1) A candidate or the counting agent of a candidate may, if present at the counting of ballot papers, require the Electoral Officer or the Designated Electoral Officer, as the case may be, to have the vote recounted once.

(2) The Electoral Officer or the Designated Electoral Officer, as the case may be, may, on his own motion, recount the ballot papers.

36. Conclusion of counting.

(1) Upon the conclusion of the counting of votes, the Electoral Officer or the Designated Electoral Officer, as the case may be, shall in respect of an election or, where the Presidential Election and a National Assembly Election are held simultaneously, in respect of each such election separately, with the assistance of the enumerators—

(a) in the presence of the candidates, if present, or the counting agents of candidates, as may be present, proceed to verify the ballot paper account referred to in section 29(1)(d) by comparing the number of ballot papers recorded in the account with the number of ballot papers counted, rejected and unused;

(b) shall seal in separate packets the counted, rejected and unused ballot papers;

(c) prepare a statement as to the result of the verification carried out under this subsection and, on request, allow a candidate or the counting agent of a candidate to copy the statement.

(2) The Electoral Officer or the Designated Electoral Officer, as the case may be, shall, as soon as is practicable after the result of the election has been ascertained, transmit—

(a) a statement of the result to the Electoral Commission;

(b) the ballot boxes, bags and other documents used in connection with the election to the Chief Electoral Officer.

37. Second ballot.

(1) Where on the statement of the result transmitted to the Electoral Commission in respect of a Presidential Election, no candidate receives more than fifty percent of the votes cast, the Electoral Commission shall not declare the result of the election and the provision of paragraph 8 of Schedule 3 of the Constitution and sections 17 to 36 of this Act as applicable to the election shall apply to the second ballot.

(2) Where on the statement of the result transmitted to the Electoral Commission, in respect of a National Assembly Election an equality of votes is found to exist among the candidates receiving the highest number of votes in any electoral area, the Electoral Commission shall, without declaring the result of the election make arrangements for the holding of a second ballot in that electoral area among those candidates receiving equality of votes and the provisions of sections 17 to 36 as applicable to the election shall apply to the second ballot.

38. Notice of result of election.

(1) Subject to section 37, the Electoral Commission shall, as soon as is practicable after receiving the statement of the result under section 36(2)(a)—

(a) of a Presidential Election;

(b) of a National Assembly Election,

declare the result of the election.

(2) As soon as is practicable after announcing the result under subsection (1), the Electoral Commission shall, by notice in the Gazette, publish the result of the Presidential Election and the National Assembly Election.

(3) Where a National Assembly Election is a general election held for the election of members of the National Assembly, the Electoral Commission shall as soon as is possible after declaring the results of the election under subsection (1)(b)—

(a) in accordance with Schedule 4 of the Constitution, declare the number of proportionately elected members of the National Assembly which each political party is entitled to nominate; and

(b) call upon each registered political party which is entitled to nominate a proportionately elected member of the National Assembly to submit to the Electoral Commission within seven days after the publication of the result of the general election, the names and other particulars of the proportionately elected members.

39. Disposal of ballot papers.

The Chief Electoral Officer shall retain and ensure the safe custody of the counted, rejected and unused ballot papers, and other documents prepared under this Act in connection with a Presidential Election and a National Assembly Election for a period of three months from the date of the elections and on the expiration of that period shall destroy the ballot papers and other documents unless otherwise directed by the Constitutional Court or otherwise required for investigation or trial of an election petition or offence.

40. Delegation.

(1) A Registration Officer may, unless otherwise directed by the Chief Registration Officer, authorise an Assistant Registration Officer of the electoral area in respect of which the Registration Officer has been appointed to do any act or thing which a Registration Officer may do under this Act and a reference in this Act other than in this section, to a Registration Officer shall be deemed to include a reference to an Assistant Registration Officer.

(2) An Electoral Officer or a Designated Electoral Officer may, unless otherwise directed by the Chief Electoral Officer, authorise an Assistant Electoral Officer at the polling station in respect of which the Electoral Officer or the Designated Electoral Officer has been appointed or designated to do any act or thing which an Electoral Officer may do under this Act and a reference in this Act, other than in this section, to an Electoral Officer or Designated Electoral Officer shall be deemed to include a reference to an Assistant Electoral Officer.

(3) Where a person who has been appointed Registration Officer is unable to exercise the functions under this Act, the Chief Registration Officer may authorise an Assistant Registration Officer of the electoral area in respect of which the Registration Officer was appointed to do any act or thing which a Registration Officer may do under this Act and a reference in this Act including subsection (1), to a Registration Officer shall be deemed to include a reference to an Assistant Registration Officer authorised under this subsection.

(4) Where a person who has been appointed Electoral Officer or designated as a Designated Electoral Officer is unable to exercise the functions under this Act on the day of the election, the Chief Electoral Officer may authorise an Assistant Electoral Officer at the polling station in respect of which the Electoral Officer was appointed or a Designated Electoral Officer was designated to do any act or thing which an Electoral Officer or Designated Electoral Officer may do under this Act and a reference in this Act including subsection (2), to an Electoral Officer or a Designated Electoral Officer shall be deemed to include a reference to an Assistant Electoral Officer authorised under this subsection.

41. Non attendance of candidate, polling agent or election agent.

Where under this Act, an act or thing is required or authorised to be done in the presence of a candidate, polling agent or counting agent of a candidate, the non attendance of the candidate, polling agent or counting agent at the time and place appointed for the purposes shall not invalidate the act or thing.

42. Right to refuse disclosure of vote.

A person who has voted at an election shall not, in any legal proceedings or otherwise, be required to state for whom the person voted.

43. Avoidance of elections.

The result of a Presidential Election or a National Assembly Election shall not be questioned or subject to review in any court except on an election petition presented to the Constitutional Court under this Act.

44. Election Petition.

(1) Article 51(3) to (5) of the Constitution shall apply for the determination of the question as to whether a person has been validly elected to the office of President.

(2) Article 82(1) to (4) of the Constitution shall apply for the determination of the question as to whether a person has been validly elected as a directly elected member of the National Assembly or nominated as a proportionately elected member of the National Assembly.

(3) An election petition to determine the question referred to in subsection (1) may be presented within 14 days of the publication of the results under section 38(2).

[S 44(3) am by s 2(n) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(4) An election petition to determine the question referred to in subsection (2) may be presented within 14 days of the publication of the results under section 38(2) or the publication of the names in the Gazette under paragraph 5 of Schedule 4 of the Constitution as the case may be.

[S 44(4) am by s 2(n) of Act 27 of 2014 w.e.f. 15 May 2015.]

(5) A petitioner in an election petition may claim—

(a) a declaration that the election is void; or

(b) a declaration that the nomination of a proportionately elected member of the National Assembly is void;

(c) a recount of the ballot papers.

(6) The Constitutional Court, before hearing an election petition, shall require the petitioner to furnish security of such nature and in such amount as the Court may direct for the payment of costs, charges and expenses that may become payable by the petitioner.

(7) The Constitutional Court may declare that an election or as the case may be, a nomination is void if the Court is satisfied—

(a) that there was a non-compliance with this Act relating to the election or relating to the nomination of a proportionately elected member of the National Assembly and the non-compliance affected the result of the election or the nomination;

(b) that an illegal practice was committed in connection with the election by or with the knowledge and consent or approval of the candidate or by or with the knowledge and consent or approval of any of the agents of the candidate;

(c) that the candidate or the person nominated at the time of the election or nomination was not a person qualified to be elected as President or a directly elected member of the National Assembly or to be nominated as a proportionately elected member of the National Assembly, as the case may be.

(7) The Constitutional Court may order a recount of the ballot papers where it is satisfied that there was an irregularity in the counting of ballot papers that affected the results of the election or the nomination.

45. Trial of election.

(1) The trial of an election petition, shall, subject to this Act, be held in the same manner as a trial before the Supreme Court in its original civil jurisdiction.

(2) The Constitutional Court may—

(a) by an order, compel any person who appears to the Court to be concerned in the election to attend as a witness at the trial; and

(b) examine a witness referred to in paragraph (a) or any person in Court, although the person has not been called as a witness.

(3) A witness or a person referred to in subsection (2) may be examined or cross examined, as the case may be, by the petitioner, respondent and Attorney-General or his representative, if present at the trial.

(4) Where it appears to the Constitutional Court on an election petition—

(a) that an act or omission of a candidate or the agent of a candidate or any other person, which, but for this section, would be an illegal practice under this Act, has been done or made in good faith through inadvertence or accidental miscalculation or some other reasonable cause of a like nature; or

(b) that upon taking into account all the relevant circumstances it would be just that the candidate, agent of the candidate or the other person should not be subject to any of the consequences under this Act for such act or omission,

the Court may make an order allowing the act or omission, which would otherwise be an illegal practice under this Act, to be an exception to this Act and the candidate, agent or other person shall not be subject to the consequences under this Act in respect of the act or omission and the result obtained by the candidate shall not, by reason only of that act or omission, be declared to be void.

46. Certificate of counts as to validity of election.

(1) At the conclusion of the trial of an election petition the Constitutional Court shall determine—

(a) whether the election was valid;

(b) whether the election was void; or

(c) whether a recount of the ballot papers is required or not;

(d) whether the nomination of a proportionately elected member of the National Assembly was valid;

(e) whether the nomination of a proportionately elected member of the National Assembly was void,

and shall certify the determination to the Electoral Commission.

(2) The determination referred to in subsection (1) shall, subject to an appeal to the Court of Appeal, be final.

(3) Where the Constitutional Court determines that an election or nomination is void, all the proceedings with regard to the election or nomination shall be recommenced.

(4) Where the Constitutional Court determines that a recount of ballot papers is required, the Electoral Commission shall—

(a) cause the ballot papers to be recounted in accordance with this Act and subject to any directions of the Court; and

(b) declare the result of the recount.

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