Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 23, 2016 (SKNIS): A plan to elect an additional senator to fill the position of Deputy Speaker, “is imminent,” says Attorney General, Honourable Senator Vincent Byron, speaking at today’s sitting of Parliament at Government Headquarters.
Senator Byron said that the Government benches are entitled to two additional senators. Senator, the Honourable Wendy Phipps holds one of the two nominated senator member seats.
“The Prime Minister (Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris), therefore, has the right to appoint a suitably qualified person to fill the other vacant seat in the Parliament and the Government of National Unity has been actively working to have such a person appointed to the Government benches,” said the senator.
The Attorney General revealed that a number of persons have been identified and a selection has been made and will be announced soon.
Senator Byron pointed out that section 32, subsection 3, of the St. Kitts and Nevis Constitution also states in part that if the office of Deputy Speaker falls vacant at any time before the next dissolution of Parliament, the assembly shall, as soon as convenient, elect another such member to that office.
“Such a member is defined in the same section 32, subsection 3 as a member of the Assembly, who is not a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary, so that any member of the Parliament who is not a member of the Cabinet can be elected to Deputy Speaker,” said the attorney general.
Attorney General Byron said that the vacancy of Deputy Speaker must be filled as the Constitution stipulates as soon as convenient. “We are committed to do this,” he said.
“Mr. Speaker, on the appointment by the Governor General of the new senator to this honourable house, he or she will join members on the Government benches,” said Senator Byron.
Senator Byron said that the new senator will not be a member of Cabinet and will be nominated to be elected to the post of Deputy Speaker.
“This, Mr. Speaker, will be concluded shortly within the convenient time as is stated by the Constitution,” he closed.