Constitution – Chapter 4 – Part 3

Summoning, prorogation and dissolution


46.- (1) 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.

(2) 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.

Prorogation and dissolution.

47.- (1) The Governor-General may at any time prorogue or dissolve Parliament.

(2) 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.

(3) 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.

(4) 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.

(5) 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.

Holding of elections.

48.- (1) 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.

(2) Where the seat of a member of the National Assembly falls vacant otherwise than by reason of a dissolution of Parliament-

a) if the vacant seat is that of a Representative, by-election shall be held; or

b) 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.


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