MPs make nominations for presidency post

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Parliament - As proceedings continue in the National Assembly's first sitting, Jacob Zuma and Mvume Dandala have been nominated by their respective parties to take up the position of President of the Republic.

Newly elected MP Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who represents the African National Congress (ANC) nominated Mr Zuma, while Mbhazima Shilowa from the Congress of the People (Cope) nominated their leader Mr Dandala.

The nominations have been seconded and Members of Parliament are currently voting in a secret ballot.

Ms Madikizela-Mandela, who quoted from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, said she was proud to nominate Mr Zuma to the highest office in the land.

She described him as "the man of the people" who had distinguished himself as a "capable leader", determined to prevail over whatever obstacles there may be.

She added the nation would triumph under his leadership.

Making the Cope nomination, Mr Shilowa said that from its inception Cope had raised the issue of what qualities it wanted to see in a president.

"This included someone who respects the rule of law and the defence of our democracy; of our Consitution. Commitment to serve the people to deal effectively with issues of corruption and many other issues, as a consequence we have to decided to field a candidate for the position."

As the National Assembly suspended proceedings to allow for the setting up of ballot boxes, ANC members stood up and sang out an old struggle song: "Oliver Tambo rest in Peace, you have struggled, Jacob Zuma may you rule in Peace, you have struggled."

According to the proceedings, if there are two candidates nominated for President, a vote will be taken by secret ballot.

This means that the MPs will have to cast their votes. The MPs will collect their ballot paper from the voting table and proceeded to the ballot booth where they make a cross against the name of the candidate of their choice.

The Democratic Alliance has indicated it was abstaining from voting for a new President. While a reason was not been provided, it has been accepted by Chief Justice Pius Langa.