Chapter 2 - Office of the President
5 Term of office
- Subject to section 17 of the Constitution, the office of President shall become vacant:
- on the day next before the first sitting day of the Senate after the 30th day of June following a periodical election; and
- on the date of a proclamation dissolving the Senate.
- A periodical election means any election for the purpose of filling the places of the senators of either of the 2 classes mentioned in section 13 of the Constitution.
(amended 6 May 1993)
6 Election of President
- Whenever the office of President becomes vacant, whether because of section 17 of the Constitution or of the standing orders, the Clerk shall act as chair of the Senate prior to the election of the President, and shall have the powers of the President under the standing orders while so acting.
- A senator, addressing the Clerk, shall propose to the Senate as President some senator then present, and move that that senator take the chair of the Senate as President. The senator proposing the motion and any senator speaking to it may speak for not longer than 15 minutes.
- If only one senator is proposed as President, the senator so proposed is called by the Senate to the chair without any question being put, shall express a sense of the honour proposed to be conferred on the senator, and shall be conducted to the chair.
- If 2 or more senators are proposed as President, a motion shall be made regarding each such senator, that that senator take the chair of the Senate as President, and each senator so proposed shall express a sense of the honour proposed to be conferred on the senator, and may address the Senate.
(amended 6 May 1993)
- When 2 senators have been so proposed as President, each senator present shall deliver to the Clerk a ballot paper indicating the name of the candidate for whom the senator votes. The candidate who has the greater number of votes shall be the President, and be conducted to the chair.
- When more than 2 senators have been so proposed, the votes shall be similarly taken, and the senator who has the greatest number of votes shall be the President, provided that senator has also a majority of the votes of the senators present.
- If no candidate has such a majority, the name of the candidate having the smallest number of votes shall be withdrawn, and a fresh ballot shall take place; and this shall be done as often as necessary, until one candidate is elected as President by such a majority, and the senator elected shall be conducted to the chair.
- If there is an equality of votes, the votes shall be again taken, and if again there is an equality of votes, the Clerk shall determine, by lot, which of the candidates, having the same number of votes, shall be withdrawn, as if that candidate had obtained the lesser number of votes.
8 Presentation to Governor-General
- Having been conducted to the chair, the senator so elected shall return acknowledgments to the Senate and assume the chair.
- Senators may congratulate the President, and a minister shall inform the Senate of the time at which the Governor-General will receive the Senate for the purpose of presenting their President, and the sitting of the Senate shall then be suspended or adjourned until that time, unless the Governor-General receives the Senate at once.
- Before the Senate proceeds to any business, the President, accompanied by senators, shall be presented to the Governor-General.