Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How does the Legislature work in Zim?

From Reuters:

Here are some details about Zimbabwe's parliament.


* Zimbabwe's parliament is bicameral, consisting of a Senate or upper house, and a House of Assembly, or lower house.

* Senate - There are 93 seats, 60 elected by popular vote for a five-year term, 10 provincial governors nominated by the president, 16 traditional chiefs elected by the council of chiefs, two held by the president and deputy president of the council of chiefs, and five appointed by the president. * House of Assembly - the lower house is made up of 210 members, increased from 150 last March.

* Lovemore Moyo was elected on Monday as Speaker of the lower house, a senior position in Zimbabwe's political hierarchy. He succeeded John Nkomo. The speaker will be a powerful figure in Zimbabwe's new hung parliament. He is likely to take charge of controversial debates if there is no power-sharing deal. The speaker can also act as president in the absence of the vice president or Senate president.

* The Cabinet is appointed by the president and responsible to the House of Assembly.


* Neither of the two major parties holds a parliamentary majority -- opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC holds 100 seats in the lower house, against the ruling ZANU-PF's 99.

* The breakaway MDC has 10 seats and there is one Independent seat. Whoever the breakaway MDC sides with gets an effective majority in the legislative chamber.

* The Senate results after the 2008 elections showed contested seats split 30-30 between the combined opposition and the ruling party. Control of the Senate will depend on the president, with powers to directly appoint 15 members and strongly influence who gets other positions.

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