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Parliament Steaming Ahead With First Sitting

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Johnathan Paoli

Parliament is steaming ahead with its preparations for its first sitting of the 7 th administration as the date of the opening was confirmed on Monday amidst a court interdict by MK Party.

The law-making house in a statement confirmed that Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has set
down 14 and 15 June as the date on which the joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces will sit during which a president will be elected for the new administration following the national and provincial elections.

Zondo confirmed the dates in a letter to the Secretary of Parliament, Xolile George.
According to section 51(1) of the Constitution, the first sitting of the National Assembly must take place at a time and date determined by the chief justice and within 14 days after the election results have been declared.

During the first sitting of the NA, the Chief Justice is expected to swear in the designated
members and administer the oath or affirmation of faithfulness and obedience to the
Constitution. All the 400 MPs should take the oath or affirm faithfulness before being able to perform their functions in the assembly.

After the election of the Speaker, the elected official will preside over the election of deputy
speaker before the Chief Justice takes over again and preside over the election of the

With no majority winner at the polls, political parties are currently engaged in negotiating
terms of a government of national unity and in all likelihood President Cyril Ramaphosa is
expected to be re-elected unopposed.

A court challenge to interdict the sitting is looming as the MK Party is sticking to its guns,
arguing that the swearing in of MPs and election of a president should not proceed until its
grievances and those of other political parties pertaining to discrepancies in the polls are

Parliament has rejected MK’s grounds for appeal.


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