Offices of the National Assembly
The Speaker is an ex-officio Member of Parliament elected by other Members of Parliament pursuant to Article 106 of the Constitution, which provides that there shall be a Speaker for each House of Parliament, who shall be elected by that House in accordance with the Standing Orders, from among persons who are qualified to be elected as members of Parliament but are not such members.
The Speaker presides over debates in the House and, though quite rarely, in the Committee of the whole House. He or she is the spokesperson of the House. As a presiding officer, the Speaker ensures the orderly flow of business and that the House observes parliamentary rules and traditions, both written and unwritten.
The Deputy Speaker
The office of the Deputy Speaker is established in Article 106 of the Constitution and provided for in the Standing Orders. The Deputy Speaker is elected by Members from amongst themselves and performs the duties of the Deputy Speaker. The Deputy Speaker is the Chairperson of the Committee of the Whole House and also chairs the Liaison Committee. He or she is the Chairperson of the Members of the Chairperson’s Panel, which comprises four members who assist the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker in presiding in the plenary.
The Majority Leader
Art. 108 of the Constitution provides that “there shall be a leader of the majority party and a leader of the minority party”. The leader of the majority party shall be the person who is the leader in the National Assembly of the largest party or coalition of parties.
Minority Leader: The leader of the minority party shall be the person who is the leader in the National Assembly of the second largest party or coalition of parties.
The Minority Leader
The leader of the minority party shall be the person who is the leader in the National Assembly of the second largest party or coalition of parties.
The Majority Whip and the Minority Whip
Standing Order No. 2 provide for a Member designated by a parliamentary party as its party whip for the purposes of the transaction of business in the National Assembly. In parliamentary traditions and practices, Majority and Minority whips perform the following roles:-
- Ensuring that Members of the National Assembly of their respective parties attend to House business particularly when there is contentious business to be transacted with a view to ensuring that each party’s policy stance/agenda is passed;
- Selecting Members from their respective parties to serve in various Committees;
- Enforcing party discipline among Members.
The Clerk of the National Assembly is the administrative and procedural head of the National Assembly and oversees the day-to-day operations and affairs of the National Assembly.
The Senior Deputy Clerk
The Senior Deputy Clerk is the second senior-most officer in the National Assembly and the immediate deputy to the Clerk of the National Assembly. The Senior Deputy Clerk deputizes the Clerk in the management of the affairs of the National Assembly.