Section 58 of the 1999 Constitution: Power of the National Assembly to Make Laws

Power

The 1999 Constitution

Section 58 (1)

The power of the National Assembly to make laws shall be exercised by bills passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and, except as otherwise provided by subsection (5) of this section, assented to by the President.

(The National Assembly has the power to make laws; which is done by way of bills [proposed law]. These bills must be passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives in their separate proceedings and then forwarded to the President for Presidential Assent [approval]. However, in situations where the President refuses to give assent to bills passed by both Houses, read subsection 5 of this section to find out what can be done.)


Section 58 (2)

A bill may originate in either the Senate or the House of Representatives and shall not become law unless it has been passed and, except as otherwise provided by this section and section 59 of this Constitution, assented to in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(Basically, a Bill [proposed law] may be created in either the Senate or the House of Representatives but it cannot become law unless it has been passed and except in special situations mentioned in this section and section 59, the President gives Assent [approval] to it.)


Section 58 (3)

Where a bill has been passed by the House in which it originated, it shall be sent to the other House, and it shall be presented to the President for assent when it has been passed by that other House and agreement has been reached between the two Houses on any amendment made on it.

(Where a bill [proposed law] is passed by the House where it was created, it will be sent to the other House in the National Assembly and it must be passed in the other House and both Houses must agree on amendments made on it before it shall then be presented to the President for Assent [approval].)


Section 58 (4)

Where a bill is presented to the President for assent, he shall within thirty days thereof signify that he assents or that he withholds assent.

(Where the two Houses of the National Assembly have passed the Bill and presents it to the President, he must signify if he Assents [Approves] to it or withholds his Assent [i.e disapproval] within a period of 30 days.)


Section 58 (5)

Where the President withholds his assent and the bill is again passed by each House by two-thirds majority, the bill shall become law and the assent of the President shall not be required.

(If the President withholds his Assent and it is again taken to both Houses of the National Assembly, two-thirds majority of both Houses must pass the Bill. If two-thirds majority in each House pass the Bill, then that Bill becomes law and the Presidents’ Assent i.e. approval is no longer needed or required.)

Section 56 and 57 of the 1999 Constitution: Voting System of National Assembly

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