CHAPTER 14
REFERENDUM ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Power to order a referendum

   3.   Method of taking the poll at a referendum

PART II
ESTABLISHMENT AND PROCEDURE OF REFERENDUM COMMISSION

   4.   Establishment of Referendum Commission

   5.   Secretary to Commission

   6.   Procedure of Commission

   7.   Conduct of referendum

   8.   Appointment of referendum officers

   9.   Power of Commission to require information and to issue instructions

   10.   Regulations

PART III
REFERENDUM PETITIONS

   11.   Referendum petitions

   12.   Operation of declared result or of Act submitted to referendum

   13.   Persons who may present referendum petitions

   14.   Respondent to a referendum petition

   15.   Form and procedure for presentation of referendum petitions

   16.   Duty of Registrar to make out list of referendum petitions

   17.   Practice, procedure and security for costs

   18.   Death of or delay by petitioner

   19.   Trial of referendum petitions

   20.   Provisions as to witnesses

   21.   Scrutiny of votes

   22.   Retaking a referendum in a constituency

   23.   Conclusion of trial of referendum petition

   24.   Provisions as to costs of trial of referendum petition

PART IV
GENERAL

   25.   Repealed

   26.   No person required to state how he voted

   27.   Evidence as to holding of referendum

   28.   Validation of certain documents

   29.   Meaning of “corrupt practice”

AN ACT

to provide for the manner in which a referendum shall be held and for matters connected with or incidental thereto.

[21st July, 1967]

Act 39 of 1967,

Act 5 of 1969,

Act 13 of 1994,

Act 17 of 1994.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Referendum Act.

2.   Power to order a referendum

   (1) The President may, if in his opinion it is necessary or desirable so to do, by See the Referendum (Constitution Amendment) Order, 1969 (SI 246 of 1969), which refers to the first referendum held under the provisions of this Act.')">1statutory order, direct that a referendum be held on any question or questions specified in the order.

   (2) Any question submitted to a referendum shall be framed in such a manner as to require no answer other than the answer “yes” or the answer “no”.

   (3) An order made under sub-section (1) shall specify the day or days on which voting in the referendum shall take place or, where it is desirable that voting in different areas should take place on different dates, the day or days on which voting shall take place in each such area.

3.   Method of taking the poll at a referendum

   (1) All persons who at the time of a referendum are registered as voters and entitled to vote at elections to the National Assembly shall be entitled to vote in the referendum.

   (2) For the purpose of taking the poll at a referendum, the Republic shall be divided into the constituencies for the time being established by law for the purpose of electing members to the National Assembly, and the poll shall be taken separately in each such constituency.

   (3) For the purpose of taking the poll at a referendum, each constituency shall be divided into the polling districts for the time being established by law for the purpose of electing members to the National Assembly.

[S 3 am by Act 5 of 1969.]

PART II
ESTABLISHMENT AND PROCEDURE OF REFERENDUM COMMISSION

[Part II am by Act 5 of 1969.]

4.   Establishment of Referendum Commission

   (1) There is hereby established a Referendum Commission (hereinafter in this Act referred to as “the Commission”) for the purpose of supervising the conduct of any referendum held pursuant to section 2.

   (2) The Commission shall consist of a Chairman and two other members who shall be appointed by the President.

   (3) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as Chairman of the Commission unless he holds or has held high judicial office.

   (4) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a member of the Commission if he is a member of the National Assembly.

   (5) If the office of Chairman or any member of the Commission falls vacant or the holder of the office becomes unable for any reason to discharge his functions as a member of the Commission, the President may appoint another person qualified for appointment to be the Chairman or, as the case may be, a member of the Commission.

   (6) In the exercise of its functions under this Act, the Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

5.   Secretary to Commission

The president shall appoint a secretary to the Commission who shall discharge such functions as the Commission may direct.

6.   Procedure of Commission

   (1) The Commission may, by regulation or otherwise, regulate its own procedure and confer powers or impose duties on any officer or authority of the Government for the purpose of discharging its functions.

   (2) Any decision of the Commission shall require the support of the Chairman and one member.

   (3) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), the Commission may act notwithstanding the absence of any member or any vacancy in the office of any member.

7.   Conduct of referendum

The conduct of every referendum shall be subject to the direction and supervision of theCommission.

8.   Appointment of referendum officers

   (1) The Commission shall have power to appoint such referendum officers as it may deem necessary for the purposes of any referendum and, subject to the provisions of this section, any referendum officer may exercise such functions relating to a referendum as may be prescribed by the Commission.

   (2) In respect of any referendum, a referendum officer may, if so empowered by the Commission under regulations made under section 10, appoint any fit person to be a referendum officer and may in any case, subject to the general or special directions of the Commission, appoint any fit person to assist him in the exercise of his functions under this Act:

Provided that a referendum officer may at any time, in such manner as may be prescribed, revoke any appointment made by him in pursuance of this sub-section.

   (3) Every referendum officer shall, before exercising any of the functions of his office, take and subscribe such oath or make such affirmation in lieu thereof, as the Commission may prescribe.

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