Parliament begins preparing for elections

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Parliament has begun preparations for the 2019 General Elections and the establishment of the Sixth Parliament following the proclamation of the election date by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Premiers on Tuesday.

Parliament in a statement on Wednesday said the National Council of Provinces will rise on 28 March while the National Assembly (NA) will rise on 20 March.

Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said this would give Members of Parliament an opportunity to return to their constituencies to prepare for the upcoming elections – which are scheduled for 8 May.

“Unlike the National Assembly, whose dissolution the President announced yesterday, and the provincial legislatures, the NCOP is not required to dissolve before the elections.

“In terms of section 62(3) of the Constitution, the term of office of the current permanent delegates expires immediately before the first sitting of the provincial legislatures following the elections, giving the NCOP longer life than the National Assembly and provincial legislatures,” Mothapo said.

After the election, each provincial legislature is required to nominate ten delegates as the representatives of that province in the NCOP.

“Six of these ten delegates are permanent and four are special delegates. Political parties represented in the provincial legislature are in turn entitled to permanent and special delegates (in the provincial delegation) in proportion to their representation in the provincial legislature,” he said.

The NCOP, he said, will therefore continue to exist until immediately before the first sittings of the provincial legislatures while the National Assembly, despite being dissolved, will continue to function until the day before 8 May elections. –