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NAMIBIA
National Council

Modules:
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name Parliament
More photos  >>>
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name National Council
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) National Assembly
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1990 -
LEADERSHIP
President Asser Kuveri Kapere (M) 
Notes Re-elected on 9 Dec. 2010.
Secretary General Panduleni N. Shimutwikeni (F) 
COMPOSITION
Members (statutory / current number) 26 / 26
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN


More statistics  >>>
Women (current number) 7 (26.92%)
Mode of designation indirectly elected 26
Notes Indirectly elected by the 13 regional councils (two members each).
Term 5 years
Last renewal dates 26 November 2010
27 November 2010 (View details)
CONTACT INFORMATION
Address National Council
Parliament Buildings
Private Bag 13371
WINDHOEK
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (26461) 202 80 00
Fax (26461) 22 61 21
25 63 71
E-mail parliament@parliament.gov.na
Website
http://www.parliament.gov.na

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name National Council
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) National Assembly
LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Electoral law 28 August 1992
Mode of designation indirectly elected 26
Constituencies Thirteen regions and 107 constituencies. Each region is headed by a regional governor who is also a member of the regional council. Any political party or association registered with the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) may field a candidate to stand for election as regional councillor for the constituency where he/she resides. Individual citizens may also stand as independent candidates for election as regional councillors provided they are registered with ECN.
Voting system : Regional councillors are directly elected through secret ballots by inhabitants of their constuencies. Candidates may stand either as independents or as members of registered political parties or associations. Each constituency is represented on the Regional council. The elected councillors are sworn in by a magistrate not later than seven days after results of the Regional Councils elections are released. Thereafter the regional councils meet on different dates to elect regional governors and the two councillors who will represent each region on the National Council.
Voter requirements - Namibian citizenship
- age 18 years or above
- registration to the ECN voters' roll.
- possession of the Regional and Local Authorities voter's registration card. Voter's registration card is updated every ten years.
CANDIDATES
Eligibility (at the regional level)
Qualified electors
- age: 21 years old and above
- Namibian citizenship
- Member of the regional council
Ineligibility:
- persons convicted for any offence in or outside Namibia
- unrehabilitated insolvents
- unsound mind, and declared so by a competent court
- remunerated members of the Public Service of Namibia
Incompatibilities (at the regional level)
Member of a Local Authority (however, a member of the National Council may be appointed Deputy Minister)
Candidacy requirements (at the regional level)
Candidate should have no criminal record; must be a member of and nominated by a registered political party or association; may be an independent whose nomination is supported by at least 100 registered voters in the constuency for which he/she intends to stand for election.

LAST ELECTIONS

Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name National Council
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) National Assembly
BACKGROUND
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) (from/to)26 November 2010
27 November 2010
Timing and scope of renewal Elections were held for all the seats in the National Council on the normal expiry of the members' term of office. Regional councils elections were held on 26 - 27 November 2010 to elect regional councilors from which each regional council elects two councilors to represent its region in the National Council.
(indirect elections at the regional level, on different dates)
STATISTICS
Voter turnout
Round no 1 (from/to)26 November 2010
27 November 2010
Number of registered electors
Voters
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes



Notes
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
South -West African People's Organization (SWAPO)
United Democratic Front (UDF)
Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
South -West African People's Organization (SWAPO) 24
United Democratic Front (UDF) 1
Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Men

Women

Percent of women
19

7

26.92%
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Comments
Source: National Council (17.12.2010)

PRESIDENCY OF THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name National Council
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) National Assembly
APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF OFFICE
Title Chairperson of the National Council
Term - duration: 6 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution of the Assembly
Appointment - elected by all Members of the Council
- the election is held on the first sitting day of the newly elected Council
- after Members' mandates have been validated and they have been sworn in
Eligibility - any Member of the Council can be a candidate
Voting system - secret ballot
- simple majority
Procedures / results - the Secretary General presides over the Council during the voting
- the clerks supervises the voting
- the Secretary General announces the results without any delay
- the results cannot be challenged
STATUS
Status - ranks third in the hierarchy of State
- represents the Council in international bodies
- presides over joint sessions of the Chambers
- in the absence of the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman can assume his/her role and functions
Board
Material facilities - allowance
- official car
- household staff
FUNCTIONS
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- examines the admissibility of requests for setting up committees and/or committees of enquiry, proposes or decides to set up such bodies
- may appoint committees and their Chairmen
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Council
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up and selects which amendments are to be debated
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Council
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates

Special powers - recommends the budget of the National Council
- recommends the recruitment, assignment and promotion of staff
- appoints the Secretary General
- organizes the services of the Council
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Council

Speaking and voting rights, other functions - may not take part in voting but has a casting vote
- signs laws and transmits them to the Head of State for enactment
- ensures the constitutionality of laws

PARLIAMENTARY MANDATE

Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name National Council
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) National Assembly
NATURE
Nature of the mandate · Free representation
Start of the mandate · When the MPs take the oath
· Procedure (Art. 71 of the Constitution of 21.03.1990 and Schedule 3 thereto, Art. 6 of the Standing Orders of the National Council, Annex to the Standing Orders of the National Council)
Validation of mandates No
End of the mandate · On the day when the legal term of the House ends (Art. 70 (1) of the Constitution) (the National Council cannot be dissolved)
Can MPs resign? Yes · Yes, of their own free will
· Procedure: letter addressed to the Secretary
· Authority competent to accept the resignation: the resignation need not be accepted
Can MPs lose their mandate ? Yes Loss of mandate by judicial decision: sentence of imprisonment of more than 12 months without the option of a fine
STATUS OF MEMBERS
Rank in hierarchy · Within Parliament:
1. The Chairperson
2. The Vice-Chairperson
3. The Whip - Ruling Party
4. The Whip - Opposition
Indemnities, facilities and services · Official passport
· Basic salary: NAD 146,168 per year
· No exemption from tax
· Pension scheme
· Other facilities:
(a) Official housing:
- Housing Allowance: NAD 72,000 per year
Obligation to declare personal assets Yes
Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary non-accountability · The concept does exist (Art. 74 (5) of the Constitution, S. 2 of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament Act, see also S. 5 of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament Act).
· Parliamentary non-accountability is limited to words spoken or written by MPs and votes cast within Parliament.
· No derogations are foreseen.
· Non-accountability takes effect on the day when the mandate begins and offers, after the expiry of the mandate, protection against prosecution for opinions expressed during the exercise of the mandate.
Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary inviolability · The concept does not exist. For the prohibition to issue or execute a service of process within the precincts of Parliament, and for the obligation to inform the Speaker about the arrest or sentence to imprisonment, see S. 3 of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament Act.
· MPs are prevented from being called as witnesses before a judge or tribunal (S. 4 of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament Act).


EXERCISE OF THE MANDATE
Training · There is an informal training/initiation process on parliamentary practices and procedures for MPs.
· It is provided by political parties.
· There is no handbook of parliamentary procedure.
Participation in the work of the Parliament · It is compulsory for MPs to be present at plenary sittings and committee meetings.
Discipline · The rules governing discipline within Parliament are contained in SO 44 to 49 of the Standing Orders of the National Council.
· Disciplinary measures foreseen:
- Warning for irrelevance (SO 44 of the Standing Orders of the National Council)
- Order to withdraw (SO 45 of the Standing Orders of the National Council)
- Suspension (SO 46 to 48 of the Standing Orders of the National Council)
- Adjournment of the House, suspension of the sitting (SO 49 of the Standing Orders of the National Council)
· Competent body to judge such cases/to impose penalties:
- Warning for irrelevance, order to withdraw: the presiding Member
- Suspension: the National Council, on recommendation of the Select Committee on Standing Orders and Internal Arrangements
- Adjournment of the House, suspension of the sitting: the Chairperson
· Procedure:
- Warning for irrelevance (SO 44 of the Standing Orders of the National Council)
- Order to withdraw (SO 45 of the Standing Orders of the National Council)
- Suspension (SO 46 to 48 of the Standing Orders of the National Council)
- Adjournment of the House, suspension of the sitting (SO 49 of the Standing Orders of the National Council)
Code (rules) of conduct · This concept does not exist in the country's juridical system but there are some relevant provisions (Art. 74 (4) of the Constitution, S. 12 (b) (i), (c), and (d) of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act).
· Penalties foreseen for violation of the rules of conduct: different sanctions (S. 12 (b) (i), (c), and (d) of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act, conduct of a Member)
· Competent body to judge such cases/to impose penalties: the National Council, on recommendation of the Committee of Privileges
· Procedure (S. 12 (b) (i), (c), and (d) of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act, conduct of a Member).
Relations between MPs and pressure group · There are no legal provisions in this field.


This page was last updated on 7 October 2011
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