13 June 2018

Zimbabwe: MPs Who Lost Party Primaries to Remain in Office Till Midnight Eve of Polls

Photo: The Herald
Kennedy Chokuda

THE 8th Parliament will be dissolved at midnight on 29 July, 2018 following the proclamation of the election date by President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently, the Clerk of Parliament, Kennedy Chokuda, has said.

In statement on Tuesday, Chokuda said members of the public have requested his office to disclose when the current parliament would be dissolved, to explain the status of current members of the legislature and when the 9th parliament would commence business.

"His Excellency, the president by proclamation set the 30th of July, 2018 as the date for the harmonised elections and it follows that parliament will stand dissolved, by operation of the law, at midnight on Sunday 29th July, 2018.

"The current members of parliament, including those who lost in primary elections held by their respective parties, remain members of the August House until midnight, Sunday 29 July, 2018," said Chokuda.

According to Chokuda, parliament business has been adjourned to allow members to campaign for the forthcoming elections.

However, he said, members can be recalled or summoned anytime by the president to transact on urgent unavoidable business which may require parliament to sit before the harmonised elections.

The Speaker of Parliament and president of Senate shall continue to hold office until the election of new presiding officers.

In accordance with constitution, the first sitting of the next parliament will, in terms of section 145 (1) of the constitution, be determined by the president but, the date must be not later than 30 days after president-elect is sworn in terms of section 94 of the constitution.

Chokuda outlined that the President can only dissolve parliament under self-propelled dissolution where national assembly and senate, sitting separately resolve two thirds of total membership of each house to dissolve.

The president can also dissolve parliament in terms of section 143 (3) when the national assembly, without cause refuses to pass appropriation bill which authorizes government expenditure.

Lastly, when the life of parliament as set forth in section 143 (1) of the constitution ends by operation of the law (automatic dissolution), the president does not take any action as dissolution emanates from the operation of law as prescribed in section143 (1) of the constitution.

Chokuda further explained that parliament runs for a five-year term commencing on the date on which president-elect is sworn in and on 21 August, 2013, marking the commencement of the current parliament.

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