PART 3. Summoning, prorogation and dissolution
- Each session of Parliament shall be held at such place within Saint Christopher and Nevis and shall begin at such time, not being later than one hundred and eighty days from the end of the preceding session if Parliament has been prorogue or ninety days from the holding of a general election of Representatives if Parliament has been dissolved, as the Governor-General shall appoint by proclamation.
- Subject to subsection (1), the sittings of the National Assembly shall be held at such time and place as the Assembly may, by its rules of procedure or otherwise, determine.
47. Prorogation and dissolution
- The Governor-General may at any time prorogue or dissolve Parliament.
- Subject to subsection (3), Parliament, unless sooner dissolved, shall continue for five years from the date of the first sitting of the National Assembly after any dissolution and shall then stand dissolved.
- At any time when Her Majesty is at war, Parliament may extend the period of five years specified in subsection (2) for not more than twelve months at a time:Provided that the life of Parliament shall not be extended under this subsection for more than five years.
- In the exercise of his powers to dissolve Parliament the Governor-General shall act in accordance with advice of the Prime Minister:Provided that if the office of the Prime Minister is vacant and the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment, considers that there is no prospect of his being able within a reasonable time to appoint to that office a person who can command the support of the majority of the Representatives, the Governor-General shall dissolve Parliament.
- If, after a dissolution of Parliament and before the holding of the general election of Representatives, the Prime Minister advises the Governor-General that, because of some matter of urgent national importance, it is necessary to recall Parliament, the Governor-General shall summon the Parliament that has been dissolved to meet, but the general election of Representatives shall proceed and the Parliament that has been recalled shall, if not sooner dissolved, again stand dissolved on the date appointed for the nomination of candidates in that general election.
48. Holding of elections
- A general election of members of the National Assembly shall be held at such time within ninety days after any dissolution of Parliament as the Governor-General may appoint.
- Where the seat of a member of the National Assembly falls vacant otherwise than by reason of a dissolution of Parliament-
- if the vacant seat is that of a Representative, by-election shall be held; or
- if the vacant seat is that of a Senator, an appointment shall be made,
to fill the vacancy within ninety days of the occurrence of the vacancy unless Parliament is sooner dissolved.
PART 4. Delimitation of constituencies
49. Constituency Boundaries Commission
- There shall be for Saint Christopher and Nevis a Constituency Boundaries Commission (hereinafter in this section referred to as the Commission) which shall consist of-
- a chairman appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister given after the Governor-General has consulted the Leader of the Opposition and such other persons as the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment, has seen fit to consul;
- two members of the National Assembly appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister; and
- two members of the Assembly appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition:
provided that the chairman shall not be a member of the Assembly or of the Nevis Island Assembly.
- A member of the Commission shall vacate his office-
- at the next dissolution of Parliament after his appointment,
- in the case of the chairman, if any circumstances arise that, if he were not a member of the Commission, would cause him to be disqualified for appointment as such;
- in the case of a member other than the chairman, if he cease to be a member of the National Assembly otherwise than by reason of the dissolution of Parliament; or
- if the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister given after the Governor-General has consulted the Leader of the Opposition in the case of the chairman, in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister in the case of a member appointed under subsection (1)(b) or in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition in the case of a member appointed under subsection (1)(c), directs.
- The Commission may regulate its own procedure and, with the consent of the Prime Minister, may confer powers and impose duties on any public officer or on any authority of the Government for the purpose of the discharge of its functions.
- The Commission may, subject to its rules of procedure, act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership and its proceedings shall not be invalidated by the presence or participation of any person not entitled to be present at or to participate in those proceedings:Provided that any decision of the Commission shall require the concurrence of a majority of all its members.
50. Review of constituency boundaries
- The Constituency Boundaries Commission (hereinafter in this section referred to as the Commission) shall, in accordance with the provisions of this section, review the number and boundaries of the constituencies into which Saint Christopher and Nevis is divided and submit to the Governor-General reports either-
- showing the constituencies into which it recommends that Saint Christopher and Nevis should be divided in order to give effect to the rules set out in schedule 2; or
- stating that, in its opinion, no alteration is required to the existing number or boundaries of constituencies in order to give effect to those rules.
- Reports under subsection (1) shall be submitted by the Commission at intervals of not less than two nor more than five years.
- As soon as may be after the Commission has submitted a report under subsection (1)(a), the Prime Minister shall lay before the National Assembly for its approval the draft of a proclamation by the Governor-General for giving effect, whether with or without modifications, to the recommendations contained in the report, and that draft proclamation may make provisions for any matters that appear to the Prime Minister to be incidental to or consequential upon the other provisions of the draft.
- Where any draft proclamation laid before the National Assembly gives effect to any recommendations of the Commission with modifications, the Prime Minister shall lay before the Assembly together with the draft a statement of the reason for the modifications.
- If the motion for the approval of any draft proclamation laid before the National Assembly under subsection (3) is rejected by the Assembly, or is withdrawn by leave of the Assembly, the Prime Minister shall amend the draft and lay the amended draft before the Assembly.
- If any draft proclamation laid before the National Assembly under subsection (3) or (5) is approved by a resolution of the Assembly, the Prime Minister shall submit it to the Governor-General who shall make a proclamation in terms of the draft; and that proclamation shall come into force upon the next dissolution of Parliament after it is made.
- The question of the validity of any proclamation by the Governor-General purporting to be made under subsection (6) and reciting that a draft thereof has been approved by resolution of the National Assembly shall not be enquired into in any court of law except upon the ground that the proclamation does not give effect to rule 1 in schedule 2.