Filling of vacancies.
(a) In the event that a vacancy occurs in the judicial office of the district court, until such vacancy has been filled by appointment as provided by the Constitution, the presiding judge of the circuit shall designate a district or circuit judge, including himself, within the circuit to serve as the district court judge for the duration of such vacancy.
(b) If a judge, who filed a request pursuant to subsection (b) of Section 12-17-66 and has been designated to receive a commissioned term, or has been elected as provided in this article, dies or becomes disqualified prior to January 16, 1977, or is otherwise unable to assume office and such death, disability or refusal to serve occurs at such a time that the judicial office created in Section 12-17-61 cannot be filled prior to January 16, 1977, a vacancy shall be created in each such case. Any vacancy which exists on January 16, 1977, shall be filled as provided by law.
(Acts 1975, No. 1205, p. 2384, §§4-113, 4-115.)