Parliament says it is ready to welcome new members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces.
Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said, with the election results scheduled for announcement by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) soon, a list of political party candidates would be handed over to Parliament by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, ahead of their swearing in as MPs.
According to the Constitution, both houses of Parliament must be established within 14 days of the IEC declaring election results. This will take place at the first sittings of the National Assembly and the NCOP.
Mogoeng has the power, under the Constitution, to determine the dates and times of these first sittings, and presides over key aspects of them.
"The first sitting of the National Assembly is provisionally scheduled for May 22 and that of the National Council of Provinces, the following day. These dates are subject to official announcement by the Chief Justice. At the National Assembly's first sitting, the Chief Justice will preside over each member of the National Assembly’s swearing in or affirmation of faithfulness to the Republic of South Africa and obedience to the Constitution. The House may be constituted of no fewer than 350 and no more than 400 members.
"The Chief Justice will also preside over the election of the speaker of the National Assembly, who will preside over the election of the deputy speaker. In the same House sitting, the Chief Justice will then preside over the election of the president, selected from amongst the members of Parliament in the National Assembly," said Mothapo.
The president, once elected, ceases to be a Member of Parliament and must take up office within five days of being elected, Mothapo added.
READ: Parliament dissolved for the elections
During the NCOP's first sitting, Mogoeng will preside over the swearing in or affirmation of faithfulness to the country and obedience to the Constitution from the House’s permanent delegates.
He will then also preside over election of the chairperson of the NCOP, who is selected from the permanent delegates. As with the National Assembly, the NCOP chairperson will then preside over the election of the deputy chairperson, House chairpersons and the chief whip.
"Prior to the first sitting of the NCOP taking place, each of the provincial legislatures must have held their first sittings and sworn in their members. Thereafter, the provincial legislatures must appoint their permanent delegates to the NCOP, 10 delegates from each province. Four of the 10 delegates are special delegates and six are permanent delegates," Mothapo said.
Upon conclusion of these processes, the newly elected president of the country will deliver the State of the Nation Address of the sixth democratic Parliament to a joint sitting of both Houses.
The date of the SONA is provisionally scheduled for June 20. The president and the presiding officers of parliament will decide on the date.
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