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PART VII. - STRENGTHENING OF POLITICAL PARTIES. Division 1. - Resignation from a Registered Political Party. 70. Grounds for and effect of resignation from a registered political party. (1) A Member who is a member of a registered political party may resign from that registered political party: (a) where, in accordance with Section 105(1)(a) (general elections) of the Constitution, a general election falls to be held within the period of three months before the fifth anniversary of the day fixed for the return of the writs for the previous general election - within a period of 30 days before the commencement of the three month period; and (b) where a general election falls to be held in any circumstances other than those referred to in Paragraph (a) - within 14 days following the date of issue of the writs for the general election, and the provisions of this Part relating to a Member who resigns from a registered political party shall not apply in respect of a Member who resigns under this subsection. (2) The following are permissible grounds for resignation by a Member from a registered political party of which he is a member:- (a) that: (i) the party; or (ii) an executive officer of the party, has committed a serious breach of the constitution of the political party; or (b) that the political party has been adjudged insolvent under any applicable law. (3) A Member who resigns from a registered political party other than under Subsection (1), but is unable to establish that the grounds specified under Subsection (2) existed in relation to his resignation, is guilty of misconduct in office. (4) A Member who resigns from a registered political party other than under Subsection (1) or on grounds other than those specified under Subsection (2) is guilty of misconduct in office. (5) For the purposes of Subsection (2), “a serious breach of the constitution” means a breach of the constitution of the registered political party that would be likely to bring the integrity and reputation of the Member into disrepute. 71. Member may resign from registered political party. (1) A Member who is a member of a registered political party may resign from the party by submitting his resignation in writing to the president of the party. (2) A resignation under Subsection (1) shall specify the grounds for the resignation. (3) In any investigation under this Division into the resignation of a Member or in any subsequent inquiry under Part V of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership into the resignation, the burden of proof that the grounds for resignation were permissible grounds under Section 70(2) rests with the Member. 72. Procedures following resignation from a registered political party. (1) On receipt of a resignation under Section 71, the president of the registered political party shall, within 30 days of the date of receipt by him of the resignation give notification and a copy of the resignation to: (a) the Speaker; and (b) the Registrar. (2) On receipt of a notification under Subsection (1)(b), the Registrar shall refer the resignation to the Ombudsman Commission. (3) A Member shall not withdraw his resignation after it has been referred to the Ombudsman Commission under Subsection (2). (4) On receipt of a referral under Subsection (2), the Ombudsman Commission shall investigate whether the resignation was made on grounds specified under Section 70(2) or whether it is satisfied that the Member is guilty of misconduct in office under Section 70(3). 73. Further procedure. (1) Where, following investigation under Section 72(4), the Ombudsman Commission is satisfied that a Member is guilty of misconduct in office under Section 70(3), the matter shall proceed in accordance with Part V of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership. (2) Where, following investigation under Section 72(4), the Ombudsman Commission is satisfied that a Member is not guilty of misconduct in office under Section 70(3), it shall so advise: (a) the Member; and (b) the Speaker; and (c) the Registrar, and the Member shall retain his office as a Member of the Parliament and may: (d) join another registered political party; or (e) remain independent from any political party. (3) Where, as a result of the procedure under Part V of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership no recommendation is made for the dismissal from office of a Member the Member shall retain his office as a Member of the Parliament and may: (a) join another registered political party; or (b) remain independent from any political party. 74. Status of Member during investigation, etc., For the period commencing on the date on which the Registrar refers the resignation of a Member to the Ombudsman Commission under Section 72(2) and ending on: (a) the date of any advice given by the Ombudsman under Section 73(2); or (b) where the matter proceeds in accordance with Section 73(1), the date of final resolution of the matter in accordance with Part V of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership, the Member remains a member of the registered political party from which he seeks to resign and the provisions of Section 77 apply to him as a member of that party. Division 2. - Expulsion from a Registered Political Party. 75. Expulsion from a registered political party. (1) A registered political party may, in accordance with its constitution expel from the party a member of the party (including a member who is a Member of the Parliament) on grounds specified in the constitution of the party. (2) A Member expelled from a party under Subsection (1) may: (a) join another registered political party; or (b) remain independent from any political party. Division 3. - Invitation to form Government. 76. Invitation to from Government. (1) Subject to Subsection (2), on the date of the return of the writs in a general election, the Electoral Commission shall advise the Head of State of the registered political party which has endorsed the greatest number of candidates declared elected in the election, and the Head of State, acting with, and in accordance with, the advice of the Electoral Commission, shall invite that registered political party to form the Government in accordance with this section. (2) Where two or more registered political parties have endorsed an equal number (being the greatest number) of candidates declared elected in the election, the Electoral Commission shall so advise the Head of State, and the Head of State, acting with, and in accordance with, the advice of Electoral Commission shall invite each of these registered political parties to form the Government in accordance with this section. (3) An invitation under Subsection (1) or invitations under Subsection (2) shall be: (a) conveyed to the public officer of the registered political party or registered political parties, as the case may be; and (b) notified to the Clerk of Parliament; and (c) published in the National Gazette. (4) At the first meeting of the Parliament following a general election, being a meeting at which the Prime Minister is to be elected: (a) the registered political party to which an invitation has been made under Subsection (1); or (b) in circumstances in which Subsection (2) applies, each registered political party to which an invitation has been made under Subsection (2), may nominate a candidate for election as Prime Minister. (5) Where: (a) a candidate is nominated under Subsection (4)(a) - the Parliament shall vote as to whether that candidate is to be elected Prime Minister; or (b) a candidate is or candidates are nominated under Subsection (4)(b), the Parliament shall vote as to whether that candidate, or any of those candidates, is to be elected Prime Minister. (6) Where: (a) the candidate nominated under Subsection (4)(a); or (b) a candidate nominated under Subsection (4)(b), receives a simple majority of the votes in the election of Prime Minister, the Speaker shall advise the Head of State that the candidate has been elected Prime Minister by the Parliament. (7) Where: (a) a registered political party to whom an invitation has been made under Subsection (1) declines or fails to nominate a candidate under Subsection (4); or (b) a nominated candidate under Subsection (4) fails to receive a simple majority of the votes in the election under Subsection (5), the Parliament shall otherwise elect a Prime Minister in accordance with Standing Orders of the Parliament. (8) In an election of a Prime Minister under Subsection (7): (a) a registered political party, who declined to nominate a candidate under Subsection (4), may nominate a candidate; and (b) a nominated candidate, who failed to receive a simple majority of votes in an election under Subsection (5), may be nominated. Division 4. - Defection from Political Party and Voting Restriction. 77. Defection from or voting against a registered political party. (1) A Member of the Parliament who was an endorsed candidate of a registered political party at the election at which he was elected to the Parliament, shall, during the term of the Parliament for which he was elected: (a) not withdraw or resign from that registered political party except in accordance with Division 1; and (b) subject to Section 73(2)(d) or (3)(a), not join another registered political party; and (c) subject to Subsection (2), vote only in accordance with a resolution of that registered political party as determined by the members of that registered political party who are Members of the Parliament in the following only:- (i) a motion of no-confidence brought against the Prime Minister, the Ministry or a Minister under Section 145 (motions of no confidence) of the Constitution; (ii) a vote for the election of a Prime Minister under Section 142 (The Prime Minister) of the Constitution; (iii) a vote for the approval of the National Budget; (iv) a vote to enact, amend or repeal a Constitutional Law. (2) A Member of the Parliament who is a member of a registered political party may abstain from voting in cases referred to in Subsection (1)(c). 78. Vote contrary to provisions of Section 77(1)(C) not to be counted. The vote of a Member of Parliament contrary to the provisions of Section 77(1)(c) shall not be counted. 79. Deemed resignation from office. Where a member of the Parliament contravenes Section 77(1): (a) he is deemed to have resigned from the registered political party of which he was a member; and (b) the Speaker shall give notification of the matter to the Registrar; and (c) the Registrar shall refer the matter to the Ombudsman Commission; and (d) the matter shall proceed under Sections 72(4), 73 and 74 as if the resignation were a resignation under Section 71. 80. Other penalties for contravention of Section 77. A Member of the Parliament who contravenes Section 77, but to whom Section 73 applies: (a) shall refund to the registered political party all campaign and other expenses received from the registered political party in supporting him at the election; and (b) shall not be appointed as a Prime Minister, Minister, Vice-Minister or Chairman or Deputy Chairman of a Committee of the Parliament for the remainder of the life of the Parliament. 81. Member elected without endorsement. (1) Subject to Subsection (2), a Member of the Parliament elected without endorsement by a registered political party shall not join a registered political party during the life of the Parliament to which he was elected without endorsement. (2) A Member of the Parliament elected at a general election without endorsement by a registered political party may join a registered political party at any time after the first election by the Parliament of a Prime Minister following the date of the return of the writs in that general election provided that that registered political party had endorsed candidates at that general election. (3) A Member of the Parliament: (a) elected without endorsement by a registered political party; or (b) whose resignation from a registered political party has been found: (i) by the Ombudsman Commission, following investigation; or (ii) after the procedure in accordance with Part V of the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership, not to amount to misconduct in office; or (c) who otherwise, in accordance with this Law, becomes an independent Member, and who does not subsequently join a registered political party may remain as an independent Member but in the case of: (d) a motion of no-confidence in the Prime Minister, the Ministry or a Minister - the provisions of Section 82 shall apply; and (e) the election of a Prime Minister (other than the election of the Prime Minister immediately following a general election) - the provisions of Section 83 shall apply; and (f) a vote on the approval of the National Budget - the provisions of Section 84 shall apply; and (g) a vote on the enactment, amendment or repeal of a Constitutional Law - the provisions of Section 85 shall apply. 82. Voting in the case of a motion of no confidence or in the election of a Prime Minister following resignation where the Member resigning is nominated for election. (1) A Member of the Parliament: (a) who was not a member of a registered political party at the time of the election of a Prime Minister; and (b) who voted for the Member elected Prime Minister in the election; and (c) to whom Subsection (2) does not apply, shall not vote: (d) for a motion of no confidence in: (i) that Prime Minister; or (ii) the Ministry headed by that Prime Minister; or (iii) a Minister appointed on the advice of that Prime Minister; or (e) against the Member elected Prime Minister referred to in Paragraph (b), in an election of Prime Minister, following the resignation of the Prime Minister referred to in Paragraph (b), where the Prime Minister referred to in Paragraph (b) is nominated. (2) A Member of the Parliament, who: (a) was not a member of a registered political party at the time of the election of a Prime Minister; and (b) voted for the Member elected Prime Minister in that election; and (c) subsequently, and at least six months before, a motion of no confidence in: (i) that Prime Minister; or (ii) the Ministry headed by that Prime Minister; or (iii) a Minister appointed on the advice of that Prime Minister, joined a registered political party, shall vote in that motion of no confidence in accordance with the requirements of a member of that registered political party under Section 77. (3) A Member of the Parliament who: (a) was not a member of a registered political party at the time of the election of a Prime Minister; and (b) did not vote for the Member elected Prime Minister in that election; and (c) has not subsequently joined a registered political party at least six months prior to a motion of no confidence in: (i) that Prime Minister; or (ii) the Ministry headed by that Prime Minister; or (iii) a Minister appointed on the advice of that Prime Minister, shall not vote against the motion of no confidence. 83. Voting in the election of a Prime Minister following resignation of a Prime Minister and in the event of other vacancies in the office of Prime Minister. Where: (a) a Prime Minister has resigned and has not been nominated in the election of the next Prime Minister; or (b) there is otherwise a vacancy in the office of Prime Minister, a Member of the Parliament who is not a member of a registered political party may vote for any nominee in the election of the next Prime Minister. 84. Voting on the National Budget. (1) In any vote taken to approve a National Budget: (a) a Member of the Parliament who is a member of a registered political party shall vote in accordance with a resolution as determined by the members of the party who are Members of the Parliament; and (b) a Member of the Parliament: (i) who is not a member of a registered political party; and (ii) who voted, in the election for Prime Minister, for the Prime Minister whose Government is proposing the National Budget, shall vote for the National Budget; and (c) a Member of the Parliament: (i) who is not a member of a registered political party; and (ii) who did not vote, in the election for Prime Minister, for the Prime Minister whose Government is proposing the National Budget, may vote for or against the National Budget. (2) The vote of a Member of the Parliament: (a) to whom Subsection (1)(a) applies, who does not vote in accordance with Subsection (1)(a); and (b) to whom Subsection (1)(b) applies, who does not vote in accordance with Subsection (1)(b), shall not be counted. (3) In the event of any question arising as to whether or not a vote taken in the Parliament constitutes a vote to approve a National Budget, the decision of the Speaker on the matter shall be final. 85. Voting on a Constitutional Law. (1) In any vote taken to enact, amend or repeal a Constitutional Law: (a) a Member of the Parliament who is a member of a registered political party shall vote in accordance with a resolution as determined by the members of the party who are Members of the Parliament; and (b) a Member of the Parliament: (i) who is not a member of a registered political party; and (ii) who voted, in the election for Prime Minister, for the Prime Minister whose Government is proposing the enactment, amendment or repeal, shall vote for the enactment, amendment or repeal; and (c) a Member of the Parliament: (i) who is not a member of a registered political party; and (ii) who did not vote, in the election for Prime Minister, for the Prime Minister whose Government is proposing the enactment, amendment or repeal, may vote for or against the enactment, amendment or repeal. (2) The vote of a Member of the Parliament: (a) to whom Subsection (1)(a) applies, who does not vote in accordance with Subsection (1)(a); and (b) to whom Subsection (1)(b) applies, who does not vote in accordance with Subsection (1)(b), shall not be counted.

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