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National Assembly: 13 steps to the first sitting of Parliament

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From swearing in National Assembly members to the order of proceedings on the day, here are facts on the first sitting of the fifth Parliament.

The first sitting of the assembly is a formal sitting at which this house of Parliament formally constitutes itself. (Gallo)

The first sitting of the fifth democratic Parliament takes place on Wednesday. Here are 14 facts about the swearing in of MPs and the election of the speaker and deputy speaker.

General

  • Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng calls the first sitting of the National Assembly, which is the fifth democratic Parliament;
  • The first sitting of the assembly is a formal sitting at which this house of Parliament formally constitutes itself;
  • Mogoeng swears in the members of the National Assembly, who are drawn from a list of candidates from political parties that received enough votes in the May general election to qualify for seats;
  • The chief justice also presides over the election of the speaker of the National Assembly and the election of the president of the Republic of South Africa;
  • Also attending the first sitting of the fifth democratic Parliament’s National Assembly will be diplomats, and guests of the presidency, guests of leaders of political parties represented in Parliament (numbers are allocated proportionally) and guests of candidates to be sworn in as MPs (one guest per MP), among others.

Order of proceedings

  • Guests attending the sitting and political party candidates to be sworn in as members of the National Assembly start to arrive at around 8.30am. They must be seated in the chamber by 10.15am;
  • At 10.30am, Mogoeng opens proceedings of the house;
  • The National Assembly members are sworn in by Mogoeng in groups of 10. Members must swear or affirm faithfulness to the republic and obedience to the Constitution;
  • Mogoeng then calls for the nomination of candidates for the position of speaker of the National Assembly. If more than one nomination is received for the position of speaker of the National Assembly, an election by secret ballot is held. Counting of the ballots is done in the presence of the Chief Justice. The results are then announced in the house;
  • Once the speaker is duly elected, nominations are invited for the position of deputy speaker of the assembly. The newly-elected speaker presides over this election. If more than one nomination is received for the position of deputy speaker, an election by secret ballot is held. Counting of the ballots is done in the presence of the chief justice. The results are then announced in the house;
  • The house adjourns at around 1pm and reconvenes at 2pm;
  • At 2pm, when the house reconvenes, the chief justice calls for the nomination of candidates for the position of president of the Republic of South Africa. If more than one nomination is made, an election by secret ballot is held. Counting of the ballots is done in the presence of the chief justice. The results are then announced in the house;
  • The president, once elected, ceases to be a member of the National Assembly by operation of law.

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