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Speakers to swear twice

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

Parliament has said members of Parliament (MPs) who will assume the role of Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament in the current cohort of Parliament will be sworn-in twice by Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda.

Assistant Clerk of Parliament responsible for protocol and public relations, Leonard Mengezi, Wednesday attributed the development to a change in Standing Orders.

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Mengezi said office bearers need to take an oath of office and oath of allegiance on their roles.

“Standing Orders have changed and the actual process is that that position is not [just about being] a mere Member of Parliament.

They are also there to conduct the House and preside over the issues that happen in the House and one also has to adhere to the oath of office and allegiance specifically for that constitutional office,” he said.

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The election of the office-bearers is set to take place after the swearing-in of legislators.

“Members of Parliament are told to bring nominations from political parties. As you are aware, there are so many independents; they will also be allowed to bring their own but, normally, political parties bring names that are given to the Clerk of Parliament,” Mengezi said.

Meanwhile, political parties are yet to strategise on nominations for the three positions.

UTM spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti-Malunga, said members would meet to look into the matter.

United Democratic Front spokesperson, Ken Ndanga, said, considering the post-elections climate, the party is yet to engage its members on the matter.

“We know it is very important to look into the matter putting our weight behind a particular candidate but we are yet to choose that candidate. You know, emotions from the results of an election are still very high; so, we need to tread carefully,” he said.

People’s Party spokesperson, Ackson Kalaile Banda, said they would meet over the weekend when, among others, the issue would be discussed.

Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson, Nicholas Dausi, asked for more time.

The last cohort of Parliament was led by Richard Msowoya, deputised by Esther Mcheka-Chilenje, who has retained her seat in Nsanje North, and Second Deputy Speaker Clement Chiwaya.

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