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House of Representatives

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Presidency module

Parliament name House of Representatives
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Title Speaker of the House of Representatives
Term - duration: 3 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, disqualification from membership of the House, death

Appointment - elected by all Members of the House, at the first sitting of a new Parliament
- after Members' mandates are validated and after Members are sworn in
Eligibility - any Member may be candidate
Voting system - usually the Government candidate is elected unopposed; there is a formal vote when two or more candidates are proposed
- if more than 2 candidates are proposed, Members vote from their seats in the Chamber and Members are asked to state which nominee they vote for, until only two candidates remain
- absolute majority is required
Procedures / results - the Clerk presides over the House during the voting
- the Clerk supervises the voting
- the Clerk announces the results without any delay
- the election must be confirmed by the Governor-General who could refuse to do so; however, this has never occured

Status - ranks third after the Governor-General; the Speaker does not act as Head of State
- represents the House with the public authorities
- is chairperson of the Parliamentary Services Commission
- in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy-Speaker can assume his/her role and functions
Material facilities - salary equivalent to a Government Minister
+ expense allowance
- official residence
- additional staff

Organization of parliamentary business - examines the admissibility of bills and amendments in certain circumstances
- chairs Business Committee of the House of Representatives
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the House
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up and selects which amendments are to be debated
- does not call for a vote, but 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 House, according to precedents
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus can organize impromptu debate on a matter of urgent public importance
Special powers - approves draft budget for Parliamentary Services and Office of the Clerk
- is consulted concerning policy decisions relating to recruitment and promotion of staff
- recommends appointment of the Clerk, after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments, as ex officio president of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and IPU
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber, with the Serjeant-at-Arms
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure

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