Parly to be dissolved on eve of elections

Parly to be dissolved on eve of elections
Published: 19 May 2018
LEGISLATORS have been encouraged to continue with their duties as Parliament will only be dissolved on the eve of Election Day, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has said.

Responding to questions in the Senate on Thursday, Minister Ziyambi  - who is also leader of Government business - said Parliamentarians are still on duty until prorogation of Parliament on the eve of Election Day.

"According to our Constitution, Section 143 says there is going to be prorogation of Parliament on the eve of the day we will be holding elections. So that evening is when Parliament is prorogated or terminated. That means Members of Parliament are on duty until we get to the eve of elections when Parliament is dissolved.

"From our assumption, we have more than two months where Parliament will be in business and Members of Parliament will be carrying out their mandate," said Minister Ziyambi.

He said members of Parliament would continue accessing Constituency Development Funds to fund projects in their constituencies.

"When those duties are said to have been terminated, then that will be another case but as far as the current situation is concerned, a Member of Parliament has that mandate given by the people since Parliament is derived from the people. Therefore, MPs should continue accessing the funds and carrying out duties as assigned," said Minister Ziyambi.

Section 143 of the Constitution, which outlines the duration and dissolution of Parliament, states: "Parliament is elected for a five-year term which runs from the date on which the President-elect is sworn in and assumes office in terms of Section 94(1) (a), and Parliament stands dissolved at midnight on the day before the first polling day in the next general election called in terms of section 144."

Minister Ziyambi's remarks follow concerns on the Bills before Parliament which are yet to be passed with fears that the sitting House might be dissolved before they are passed with processes going to waste.

Section 147 of the Constitution states that "on the dissolution of Parliament, all proceedings pending at the time are terminated and every Bill, motion, petition and other business lapses". 
- the herald
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