Ring of bells to signal start of National Assembly proceedings

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pretoria - The ringing of bells at 10:05 tomorrow morning will signal the start of proceedings for the first sitting of the National Assembly when members will meet to, amongst others, elect the country's new President.

Parliament's National Assembly (NA) is set to meet for the first time to swear in its 400 new members tomorrow, elect its Presiding Officers and elect the President of the Republic.

The day will formally start off with prayers and follow with members of the National Assembly taking the oath or the solemn affirmation.

The Presiding Officer will then declare that the National Assembly has been convened in terms of section 51(1) of the Constitution and will request the Returning Officer to read out the notice convening the meeting.

The Presiding Officer will then call for nominations of candidates for election as Speaker. This will be followed by the Presiding Officer announcing the names of the persons duly nominated.

If only one valid nomination is received, the Presiding Officer declares the nominated candidate to be duly elected. If more than one valid nomination is received, a vote is taken by secret ballot and proceedings are suspended until the result of the voting can be made known.

Thereafter, the Serjeant-at-Arms conducts the Speaker to the Chair. The Speaker expresses his or her sense of the honour conferred upon him or her.

The Speaker calls for nominations of candidates for election as Deputy Speaker. The Speaker then announces the names of the persons duly nominated.

Like the nomination of the Speaker, if only one valid nomination is received, the Speaker declares the nominated candidate to be duly elected. If more than one valid nomination is received, a vote is taken by secret ballot and proceedings are suspended until the result of the voting can be made known.

The Deputy Speaker then expresses his or her sense of the honour conferred upon him or her.

Thereafter, the National Assembly proceedings will be suspended until 2pm.

When members of parliament return, the Speaker will invite the Presiding Officer to preside.

The Presiding Officer calls for nominations of candidates for election as President. The Presiding Officer will thereafter announce the names of the persons duly nominated.

If only one valid nomination is received, the Presiding Officer declares the nominated candidate to be duly elected. If more than one valid nomination is received, a vote is taken by secret ballot and proceedings are suspended until the result of the voting can be made known.

The Speaker then takes the Chair and invites parties and the President-elect to address the House.
At the country's general elections two weeks ago, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) won a landslide victory, which puts its presidential candidate, Jacob Zuma, as a sure bet to be elected as the next President of the country.

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