PM Douglas says constitution gives Premier Parry right to call a Nevis Island election

Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph W. Parry

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, OCTOBER 24TH 2012 (CUOPM) – St Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas says the Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry is within the Constitution to dissolve the Nevis Island Assembly instead of opting for a by-election in the St. John’s District made vacant by a court ruling.

“There is a section in the (1983) Constitution that gives the authority to the Premier, or the Prime Minister to dissolve at any time and call a general election. And so he (Parry) is going I believe under that relevant section of the Constitution with regards to election,” said Prime Minister Douglas in response to a caller from Nevis.

“I as Prime Minster can dissolve the (National Assembly) House any time. If for example there is a vacancy that arises in my (Labour Party) case and instead of having a by election within the 90 days as Section 42 speaks to, I can say let me have a general election and go back to the polls,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

“The Prime Minister or Premier has the right at any time to ask the Governor General to dissolve the House. Once you dissolve the House, you must have a general election,” Prime Minister Douglas reiterated.

A reading of Section 47 of the St. Kitts and Nevis Constitution states in part: The Governor-General may at any time prorogue or dissolve the Legislature. In the exercise of his powers to dissolve the Legislature the Governor-General shall act in accordance with the advice of the Premier, but before any such advice is given the Premier shall consult the Prime Minister.”

Section 48 of the Constitution states in part : “Where the seat of a member falls vacant otherwise than by reason of a dissolution of Parliament, if the vacant seat is that of a Representative, a by-election shall be held to fill the vacancy within ninety days of the occurrence of the vacancy unless Parliament is sooner dissolved.

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