Parliament dissolved for the elections

2019-02-21 16:17


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The National Assembly on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution to dissolve Parliament.

The motion was brought by ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu. 

"The resolution is informed by the announcement made by President [Cyril] Ramaphosa on 7 February 2019, that the national and provincial government elections will take place on 8 May 2019," said ANC caucus spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli in a statement that was released shortly after the National Assembly voted on the matter.

"Due to the fact that the Fifth Parliament was convened on 21 May 2014, its five-year term officially ends on 20 May 2019. Therefore, the elections date of 8 May 2019 falls within the active five-year term of the Fifth Parliament. Parliament therefore has to be dissolved because we cannot hold elections while the current parliamentary term is still in session," Mhlauli explained.

She said the necessity for dissolution is also informed by the need to proclaim the elections date, which is scheduled to take place on February 26, 2019.

"The proclamation of the elections is the legal process wherein the elections date is published in the Government Gazette, thereby closing the voters' roll and starting the official election timetable," Mhlauli said. 


"This therefore means that South Africans have until close of business on Tuesday, 26 February 2019 to register to vote."

Mthembu's motion also made provision for suspending some of the National Assembly's rules  - Rule 333 (2) and 351 - which would allow the House to continue with its work until it rises on March 20.  

This dissolution of Parliament will not affect the work of the legislature, as Section 49 (4) of the Constitution states: "The National Assembly remains competent to function from the time it is dissolved or its term expires, until the day before the first day of polling for the next Assembly."

Before the House voted, Speaker Baleka Mbete read a letter from Ramaphosa in which he asked that all legislatures be dissolved by February 26.

No objections

No one raised an objection and 249 MPs voted in favour of the motion - 201 votes was required for it to pass. 

After the vote, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said to his nemesis, Mbete: "May I be the first to thank you for your service."

Mbete coolly hit back: "I thought you would thank me for my patience with you."

This is not the first time Parliament has been dissolved. It was also done ahead of the 2004 elections.

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Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  parliament  |  elections 2019  |  politics

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