BY CAROL-ANNE SULEGA
THE new Prime Minister (PM) is most likely to be elected by early next week.
According to Schedule 2 to the Constitution, the place, date and time on which nomination papers of PM candidates are to be delivered to the Governor-General (GG) no later than four days before the date appointed for the election meeting.
A list specifying all candidates nominated and their respective nominations will be submitted by or by direction of the GG to each Member of Parliament (MP) before the election meeting.
The election will be done by secret ballot and the election will be presided over and the election conducted by the GG.
If any candidate should at any ballot receive an absolute majority of votes he will thereby be elected Prime Minister.
If no candidate receives an absolute majority of votes at the first ballot a further ballot will be held and the candidate who received fewest votes at the first ballot will be eliminated.
If there is a tie between two or more candidates for the fewest number of votes received at the first ballot, the GG will decide which of the candidates will be eliminated.
The Constitution further states that if the ballot conducted results in a tie between two candidates, one further ballot will be conducted to decide the election between these two candidates and if there is a tie between them again, the GG will countermand the election and the election procedure will be commenced ‘de novo’.
This means the election will start all over again but no ballot will be held within a period of less than six hours after the conclusion of the preceding ballot.
When the count has been completed in any ballot the GG will then announce to the meeting the number of votes received by each candidate and where any candidate receives an absolute majority or the greater number of votes will be declared the elected PM.
Upon the election of a Prime Minister, the GG will, according to the Constitution, “cause that fact and the identity of the Prime Minister to be known to the public in such manner as to him may seem appropriate and to be published as soon as may be in the Gazette”.
Any dispute arising out or in connection with the calling or conduct of any election meeting or the election of the PM under Schedule 2 to the Constitution will be determined by the GG whose determination of the matter in dispute will be final and conclusive and will not be questioned in any proceedings whatsoever.