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US House Motion to Vacate & Indian Protem Speaker Process.



  Oct 05, 2023

Motion To Vacate:US House of Representatives



The "motion to vacate" is a parliamentary procedure used in the U.S. House of Representatives to remove the Speaker of the House from their position. Here's a breakdown of how it works and its significance:

Purpose: The motion to vacate is initiated with the aim of removing the current Speaker of the House from their leadership position.

Introduction: Any member of the House, regardless of their party affiliation (Democrat or Republican), can introduce the motion. In this case, it was introduced by Representative Matt Gaetz.

Consideration: If the motion is introduced as a "privileged" resolution, which has a higher status, the House must consider it at some point. However, procedural votes can be used to delay its consideration.

Majority Vote: To pass, the motion to vacate requires a simple majority vote in the House. In the case of Kevin McCarthy, it passed with 216 votes in favor to 210 against.

Protem Speaker may be appointed till a Speaker is elected.

Historical Context: This procedure has been used in the past but is relatively rare. It was first used in 1910 by Republican Speaker Joseph Cannon.
It was also threatened against Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997 and Republican Speaker John Boehner in 2015.

Significance: Kevin McCarthy's removal as House Speaker is historically significant, as he is the first House Speaker in U.S. history to be removed from office using this procedure.
His removal was a result of discontent within his own party over his decision to pass a stopgap funding measure with Democratic support to prevent a government shutdown.

In essence, the motion to vacate is a mechanism within the House's rules that allows members to challenge and potentially remove the Speaker of the House, and its successful use can have significant political implications.

Removing Speaker of Lok Sabha

The Speaker can be removed by the Lok Sabha by a resolution passed by effective majority (majority of all the then members of Lok Sabha. That is, total membership minus vacancies) of the house as per Constitution of India-Articles 94.

Protem Speaker/Chairman

The appointment of a Protem Speaker and Protem Chairman is a crucial process in the Indian parliamentary system, particularly in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Here's an organized explanation of this process:

Vacancy in Presiding and Deputy Presiding Officer Positions:

When there is a vacancy in the offices of both the presiding and deputy presiding officers (Speaker and Deputy Speaker) of the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, temporary presiding officers are appointed./

Appointment by the President:

The President of India appoints the temporary presiding officers, known as the Protem Chairman in the Rajya Sabha and Protem Speaker in the Lok Sabha.

Role of the Protem Speaker:

The Protem Speaker is appointed in the Lok Sabha to perform the duties of the Speaker until the newly elected Lok Sabha convenes.

After the dissolution of the previous Lok Sabha, the Speaker ceases to be a member, but the office of the Speaker is not vacated.

When the newly elected Lok Sabha assembles, the office of the Speaker becomes vacant, and the Protem Speaker administers the oath of office to the newly elected members.

The Protem Speaker presides over the Lok Sabha during the process of electing the new Speaker.

Once the new Speaker is elected, the Protem Speaker's role ceases, and the elected Speaker takes over.

Powers of the Protem Speaker:

The Constitution does not explicitly define the powers of the Protem Speaker, but it is assumed that they possess the same powers as the Speaker.

The Protem Speaker is considered the de facto Speaker until the Speaker is elected.

They enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities of the Speaker under the Constitution of India.

Appointment of Members for Oath/Affirmation:

Additionally, the President appoints three other elected members of the Lok Sabha to assist in administering the oath or affirmation to newly elected members before they take their seats.

Selection Criteria:

Conventionally, the senior-most members (based on years of membership in the House) are generally chosen for these pro-tem positions, although there have been exceptions to this practice.

Lack of Defined Rules:

There are no specific 'Rules of Procedure' laid down for the appointment of Protem Speaker, and the Constitution does not use the term 'Protem Speaker' explicitly.

In summary, the Protem Speaker and Protem Chairman are temporary presiding officers appointed by the President to oversee the initial proceedings of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha after a general election,
including administering the oath of office to newly elected members and presiding over the election of the new Speaker. They hold de facto powers of the Speaker until the permanent Speaker is elected.


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