Parliament to hold first sitting

2014-05-21 08:21

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South Africa’s fifth democratic Parliament holds its first sitting this morning to swear in new MPs and formally elect President Jacob Zuma as head of state.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng will preside over the swearing-in of the 400 new members of the National Assembly – a process traditionally undertaken in batches of 10 for speed’s sake.

After this, the chamber will elect a new Speaker. The African National Congress announced yesterday that it would nominate Baleka Mbete, the party’s national chairperson, to return to the post of Speaker she held from 2004 to 2008.

Once elected, the Speaker will preside over the election of the deputy Speaker. The ANC plans to nominate Lechesa Tsenoli for the post.

MPs will then elect the country’s new president, a post certain to go to Zuma for a second term.

He will take the oath of office at the Union Buildings on Saturday, bringing foreign dignitaries back to the capital for the inauguration five months after Nelson Mandela lay in state there.

Zuma will announce his new Cabinet on Sunday.

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