What happens in the event that the President is unable to attend to their duties?
Article 109 of the Constitution stipulates the procedures to be followed in the instance of the absence of the President.
If the President dies, resigns or is removed from office:
Article 109 (1) states that the Vice President assumes the office of the President until fresh elections are held.
According to Article 109 (6), the Vice President, before assuming the duties of the office of the President, shall appoint a person to the office of the Vice President – subject to Parliament’s approval.
It should be noted these elections must be held six months after the death, resignation or removal of the President [Article 109 (2)]. However, no elections are to be held if the remaining period in the President’s term of office is less than one year [Article 109 (3)].
If the President is otherwise unable to perform the functions of their office:
Article 109 (4) states that the Vice President shall perform those functions until the President is able to perform them again.
In the event that BOTH the President and Vice President are unable to perform their functions:
Article 109 (5) states that the Speaker shall perform these functions until the President or the Vice President are able to perform those functions or until a new President assumes office.
Before assuming the office of the President, the Speaker shall take and subscribe to the oaths specified in the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution [Article 109 (8)].
Like with the assumption of office by the Vice President, whenever the Speaker assumes the office of the President as the result of the death, resignation or removal of the President and Vice President, a presidential election shall be held in accordance with Article 109 (2) of the Constitution i.e. within six months.