The Standing Orders, which set the rules for how business is done in the August House, include provisions for the election of the National Assembly and Senate Speakers.
Following a general election, the procedure begins as soon as the President announces the two Houses’ first meeting.
The Clerk issues a gazette notice soliciting applications as soon as the President announces the location and time of the first meeting of a new legislature, as required by Article 126(2) of the Constitution.
After then, anyone interested in running for office must turn in their nomination papers to the Speaker’s office at least 48 hours before the scheduled election day.
“Nomination papers must be received from the Clerk and returned with the names of candidates for the position of Speaker entered.”
The candidate must gather the support of 20 members, each of whom must sign a statement stating that the candidate is eligible to be elected as Speaker of the National Assembly and is prepared to do so.
After the nomination period has ended, the Clerk publishes and makes available to all members a list of all qualified candidates. She also gives MPs copies of the candidates’ resumes.
The clerk prepares ballots with the names of all candidates who have been duly nominated at least two hours before the assembly meets.
A secret ballot is used for the election.
The clerk is required to empty the ballot box and show it to the House prior to voting.
The Senate follows the same process with only minor modifications to suit its procedures.
A candidate is typically regarded as elected speaker if they receive the backing of two-thirds of all members during a vote.
But per Standing Orders, only the front-runners are allowed to run for office if no candidate receives the support of two-thirds of all members.