Cape Town – On May 8, the people of South Africa will cast their votes in the country’s sixth democratic election to determine which political parties should represent them in parliament and the provincial legislature.
Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said in terms of the law, within 14 days after the Electoral Commission of South Africa has declared the results of the elections, the Houses of Parliament must be established.
This happens at the first sittings of each of these houses, the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces.
According to Mothapo, the Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa has the powers, under the Constitution, to determine the dates and times of these first sittings and will preside over key aspects of them.
“As the legislative authority of our democratic republic, Parliament must ensure there is government by the people, under the Constitution.
“The National Assembly must ensure the choosing of a president, by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues, by passing legislation and by checking and evaluating the executive action of government,” Mothapo said.
He said following engagements between officials of the Office of the Chief Justice and Parliament, the first sitting of the National Assembly was provisionally set for May 22.
At this sitting the chief justice will preside over each member of the National Assembly’s swearing-in, as well as the election of the Speaker.
The chief justice will preside over the election of the president, selected from among the MPs in the National Assembly.
Once elected, the president ceases to be an MP and take up office within five days of being elected.
Mothapo said the Provincial Legislatures would also appoint their permanent delegates.
The first sitting of the National Council of Provinces, provisionally scheduled for May 23, will also be presided over by the chief justice.
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