South Africa: Parliament Encourages South Africans to Cast Their Votes

press release

The Presiding Officers of Parliament - the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Ms Thandi Modise, and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbete, encourage South Africans who are eligible to cast their votes tomorrow in the national and provincial elections.

The right to free, fair and regular elections and the right to vote for adult citizens are guaranteed by the Constitution, in particular, in the Bill of Rights. We therefore call upon all those who qualify and are registered to go out and exercise their right to vote. But we also call upon all the citizens to play their part in ensuring that the election is free and fair.

Your vote tomorrow is your only opportunity to choose who will represent you for the following five years nationally, in the National Assembly, and provincially, in the provincial legislatures. The number of seats a party is entitled to in the provincial legislature will in turn determine the number of delegates a party is entitled to in the National Council of Provinces.

Special Votes for citizens who cannot travel to voting stations due to physical infirmity, disability or pregnancy started voting on Monday and will end today. South Africans living abroad also had a chance to make their mark on 27 April 2019.

The election day will also mark the beginning of a process of forming the sixth Democratic Parliament. The first sitting of the National Assembly is provisionally scheduled for 22 May and that of the National Council of Provinces for 23 May. These dates are subject to official announcement by the Chief Justice.

While the term of the National Assembly will end at midnight tonight, the term of the National Council of Provinces will end immediately before the first sittings of the provincial legislatures.

To ensure that there is no vacuum in government, in terms of the Constitution the current Cabinet remain competent to function until the President assumes office. The President assumes office within five days after he or she is elected by swearing or affirming faithfulness to the Republic and obedience to the Constitution.

This year's elections mark the time, 25 years ago, when South Africans voted for the first time as equals. It is a right some people died for and one that we should not take for granted in our growing democracy.

Parliament urges South Africans to vote and elect the government of their choice.

Issued by: Parliament of South Africa

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