PARLIAMENT

PART 1 Composition or Parliament

Section 25. Establishment.
There shall be for Saint Christopher and Nevis a Parliament which shall consist of Her Majesty and a National Assembly.

Section 26. National Assembly.
(1) The National Assembly shall consist of-
  1. such number of Representatives as corresponds with the number or constituencies for the time being established in accordance with section 50; and
  2. such number of Senators as is specified in subsection (2), who shall be appointed in accordance with section 30.
(2) The number of Senators shall be three or such greater number (not exceeding two-thirds of the number of Representatives) as may be prescribed by Parliament:

Provided that at any time when a person who is a Senator holds the office of Attorney-General the number of Senators shall be increased by one.

(3) If a person who is not a member of the National Assembly is elected to be Speaker they shall be a member of the Assembly.

(4) At any time when the office of Attorney-General is a public office the Attorney-General shall, by virtue of holding or acting in that office, be a member of the National Assembly.

(5) Any person who sits or votes in the National Assembly knowing or having reasonable grounds for knowing that he is not entitled to do so shall be guilty of a criminal offence and liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or such other sum as may be prescribed by Parliament, for each day on which he so sits or votes in the Assembly.

(6) Any prosecution for an offence under subsection (5) shall be instituted in the High Court and shall not be so instituted except by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Section 27. Qualification for Representatives and Senators.
Subject to section 28, a person shall be qualified to be elected or appointed as a member of the National Assembly if, and shall not be so qualified unless, he is a citizen of the age of twenty-one years or upwards and he or one of his parents was born in Saint Christopher and Nevis and he is domiciled there at the date of his nomination for election or his appointment, as the case may be.

Section 28. Disqualifications for Representatives and Senators.
(1) A person shall not be qualified to be elected or appointed as a member if he-
  1. is, by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state;
  2. is a minister of religion;
  3. is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law;
  4. is a person certified to be insane or otherwise adjudge to be of unsound mind under any law; or
  5. is under sentence of death imposed on him by a court of law in any part of the Commonwealth or is serving a sentence of imprisonment (by whatever name called) exceeding twelve months imposed on him by such a court or substituted by competent authority for some other sentence imposed on him by such a court, or is under such a sentence of imprisonment the execution of which has been suspended.
(2) If it is so provided by Parliament, a person shall not be qualified to be elected or appointed as a member if he holds or is acting in any office that is specified by Parliament and the functions of which involve responsibility for, or in connection with, the conduct of any election of Representatives or members of the Nevis Island Assembly or the compilation of any register of voters for the purpose of electing Representatives or members of that Assembly.

(3) If it is so provided by Parliament, a person who is convicted by any court of law of any criminal offence that is prescribed by Parliament and that is connected with the election of Representatives or members of the Nevis Island Assembly or is reported guilty of such an offence by the court trying an election petition shall not be qualified, for such a period (not exceeding five years) following his conviction or, as the case may be, following the report of the court as may be so prescribed, to be elected or appointed as a member.

(4) A person shall not be qualified to be elected as a Representative who is a Senator; and a person shall not be qualified to be appointed as a Senator who is, or is nominated for election as, a Representative or who has at any time since Parliament was last dissolved stood as a candidate for election as a Representative without being so elected.

(5) If it is so provided by Parliament, and subject to such exceptions and limitations (if any) as Parliament may prescribe, a person shall not be qualified to be elected or appointed as a member if-
  1. he holds or is acting in any office or appointment (whether specified individually or by reference to a class of office or appointment) other than the office of elected member of nominated member of the Nevis Island Assembly or member of the Nevis Island Administration;
  2. he belongs to any defence force or to any class of person that is comprised in any such force;
  3. he belongs to any police force or to any class of person that is comprised in any such force; or
  4. subject to any exception or limitations prescribed by Parliament, he has any such interest in any such government contract as may be so prescribed.
(6) In this section-
  1. "government contract" means any contract made with the Government or with a department of the Government or with an officer of the Government contracting as such;
  2. "member" means member of the National Assembly;
  3. "minister or religion" means any person in holy orders and any other person the principal function of whose occupation include teaching or preaching in any congregation for religious worship.
(7) For the purposes of paragraph (e) of subsection (1)-
  1. two or more sentences or imprisonment that are required to be served consecutively shall be regarded as separate sentences if none of those sentence exceeds twelve months, but if any one of such sentence exceeds that term they shall be regarded as on sentence; and
  2. no account shall be taken of a sentence of imprisonment imposed as an alternative to or in default or the payment of a fine.
Section 29. Election of Representatives.
(1) Each of the constituencies established in accordance with the provisions of section 50 of this Constitution shall return one Representative to the National Assembly who shall be directly elected in such manner as may, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, be prescribed by or under any law enacted by Parliament.

(2) Every Commonwealth citizen of the age of eighteen years or upward who possesses such qualifications relating to residence or domicile in Saint Christopher and Nevis as Parliament may prescribe shall, unless he is disqualified by Parliament from registration as such, be entitled to be registered as a voter for the purpose of electing Representatives in one (but not more than one) constituency in accordance with the provisions of any law in that behalf and no other person may be registered as such.

(3) Every person who is registered under subsection (2) in any constituency shall, unless he is disqualified by Parliament from voting in any election of Representatives or of members of the Nevis Island Assembly, be entitled so to vote in that constituency in accordance with the provisions of any law in that behalf and no other person may so vote.

(4) In any election of Representatives the votes shall be given by ballot in such manner as not to disclose how any particular person votes.

Section 30. Appointment of Senators.
(1) Of the Senators-
  1. one-third or their number (excluding any Senator who holds the office of Attorney-General) shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader to the Opposition; and
  2. the others shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.
(2) In this section "one-third" means, in relation to a number of Senators that is not a multiple of three, one-third of the next higher number that is such a multiple.

Section 31. Tenure of office of Representatives and Senators.
(1) An elected or appointed member shall vacate his seat in the National Assembly at the next dissolution of Parliament after his election or appointment.

(2) A Senator appointed under subsection (1)(a) of section 30 shall vacate his seat in the National Assembly if his appointment is revoked by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition, and a Senator appointed under subsection (1)(b) of that section shall vacate his seat in the Assembly if his appointment is revoked by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

(3) An elected or appointed member shall also vacate his seat in the Assembly-
  1. if he is absent from the sittings of the Assembly for such period and in such circumstances as may be prescribed in the rules of procedure or the Assembly;
  2. if he ceases to be a citizen;
  3. subject to subsection (4), if any other circumstances arise that, if he were not a member, would cause him to be disqualified to be elected or appointed as such by virtue of subsection (1) of section 28 or of any law enacted in pursuance of subsection (2), (3) or (5) of that section; or
  4. in the case of a Senator who holds the office of Attorney-General, if he ceases to hold that office.
(4)
  1. If any such circumstances as are referred to in paragraph (c) of subsection (3) arise because an elected or appointed member is under sentence of death or imprisonment, adjudge to be of unsound mind, declared bankrupt or convicted or reported guilty of an offence relating to elections and if it is open to the member to appeal against the decision (either with the leave of a court of law or other authority or without such leave) he shall forthwith cease to perform his functions as a member but, subject to the provisions of this section, he shall not vacate his seat until the expiration of a period or thirty days thereafter:
  2. Provided that the Speaker may, at the request of the member, from time to time extend that period for further periods of thirty days to enable the member to pursue an appeal against the decision, so however, that extensions of time exceeding in the aggregate one hundred and fifty days shall not be given without the approval, signified by resolution, of the National Assembly.
  3. If, on the determination of any appeal, such circumstances continue to exist and no further appeal is open to the member or if, by reason of the expiration of any period for entering an appeal or notice thereof on the refusal of leave to appeal or for any other reason, it ceases to be open to the member to appeal, he shall forthwith vacate his seat.
  4. If at any time before the member vacates his seat such circumstances cease to exist, his seat shall not become vacant on the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph (a) and he may resume the performance of his functions as a member.
(5) In this section "member" means member of the National Assembly.

Section 32. Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
(1) When the National Assembly first meets after any general election and before it proceeds to the despatch of any other business, if shall elect a person to be the Speaker of the Assembly; and if the office of Speaker falls vacant at any time before the next dissolution of Parliament the Assembly shall, as soon as practicable, elect another person to that office.

(2) The Speaker may be elected from among the members of the National Assembly who are not members of the Cabinet or Parliamentary Secretaries or from among persons who are not members of the Assembly but who are qualified for election as a Representative or appointment as a Senator.

(3) When the National Assembly first meets after any general election and before it proceeds to the despatch of any other business except the election of the Speaker the Assembly shall elect a member of the Assembly who is not a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary to be Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, and 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.

(4) No business shall be transacted in the National Assembly (other than the election of a Speaker) at any time when the office of Speaker is vacant.

(5) A person shall vacate the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker-
  1. in the case of a Speaker elected from among the members of the National Assembly or in the case of the Deputy Speaker-
    • if he ceases to be a member of the Assembly:
    • Provided that the Speaker shall not vacate his office by reason only that he has ceased to be a member of the Assembly on a dissolution of Parliament, until the Assembly first meets after the dissolution; or
    • if he becomes a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary.
  2. in the case of a Speaker elected from among persons who are not members of the Assembly-
    • when the Assembly first meets after any dissolution of Parliament;
    • if he ceases to be a citizen; or
    • if any circumstances arise that would cause him to be disqualified for election as a Representative or appointment as a Senator; or
  3. in the case of the Deputy Speaker, if he is elected to be Speaker.
(6)
  1. If, by virtue of section 31(4),the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the National Assembly he shall also cease to perform his functions as Speaker or Deputy Speaker, as the case may be, and those functions shall, until he vacates his seat in the Assembly or resumes the performance of the functions of his office, be performed-
    • In the case of the Speaker, by the Deputy Speaker or, if the office of Deputy Speaker is vacant or the Deputy Speaker is required to cease to perform his functions as a member of the Assembly, by such member of the Assembly (not being a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary) as the Assembly may elect for the purpose;
    • in the case of the Deputy Speaker, by such member of the Assembly (not being a member of the Cabinet or a Parliamentary Secretary) as the Assembly may elect for the purpose.
  2. If the Speaker or Deputy Speaker resumes the performance of his functions as a member of the Assembly, he shall also resume the performance of his functions as Speaker or Deputy Speaker, as the case may be.
Section 33. Electoral Commission.
(1) There shall be for Saint Christopher and Nevis an Electoral Commission (hereinafter in this section referred to as the Commission) which shall consist of-
  1. a chairman appointed by the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment;
  2. one member appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister; and
  3. one member appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.
(2) A person shall not be qualified to be appointed as a member of the Commission if he is a Representative, a Senator or a member of the Nevis Island Assembly or a public officer nor, in the case or the chairman, unless he holds one of the specified qualifications and has held one or other of those qualifications for a total period of not less than seven years.

(3) A member of the Commission shall vacate his office-
  1. at the expiration of such period as may be specified by the Governor-General at the time of his appointment;
  2. if any circumstances arise that, if he were not a member of the Commission, would cause him to be disqualified for appointment as such; or
  3. if the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment 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 that Leader of the Opposition in the case of a member appointer under subsection (1)(c), so directs.
(4) The function of the Commission shall be to supervise the Supervisor of Elections in the performance of his functions under sections 34(1), 38(9) and 113(5).

(5) 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.

(6) 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.

Section 34. Supervisor of Elections.
(1) There shall be a Supervisor of Elections whose duty it shall be to exercise general supervision over the registration of voters in elections of Representatives and over the conduct of such elections.

(2) The functions of the office of Supervisor of Elections shall be exercised either by the person holding or acting in such public office as may for the time being be designated in that behalf by the Governor-General or, if the Governor-General so decides, by such other person who is not a public officer as may for the time being be so designated.

(3) A person shall not enter upon the duties of the office of Supervisor of Elections until he has taken and subscribed the oath of allegiance and the oath of office.

(4) For the purposes of the exercise of his functions under subsection (1), the Supervisor or Elections may give such directions as he consider necessary or expedient to any registering officer, presiding officer or returning officer relating to the exercise by that officer of his functions under any law regulating the registration of voters or the conduct of elections, and any officer to whom any such directions are given shall comply with those directions.

(5) The Supervisor of Elections may, whenever he considers it necessary or expedient to do so and shall whenever so required by the Commission, report to the Electoral Commission on the exercise of this functions under subsection (1); he shall also submit every such report to the Minister for the time being responsible for matters relating to the election of Representatives; and that Minister shall, not later than seven days after the National Assembly first meets after he has received the report, lay it before the Assembly together with such comments thereon as he may have received from the Commission.

(6) In the exercise of his powers under subsection (2) the Governor-General shall act in his own deliberate judgment after consulting the Prime Minister, the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition.

(7) In the exercise of his functions under subsection (1), the Supervisor of Elections shall act in accordance with such directions as he may from time to time be given by the Electoral Commission but shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

(8) The Supervisor of Elections shall exercise such other functions in relation to elections whether to the National Assembly or to local government authorities as may be prescribed by or under any law enacted by Parliament.

Section 35. Clerk of National Assembly and his staff.
(1) There shall be a Clerk of the National Assembly.

(2) The office of the Clerk of the National Assembly and the offices of the members of this staff shall be public offices.

Section 36. Determination of questions of membership.
(1) The High Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any question whether-
  1. any person has been validly elected as a representative;
  2. any person has been validity appointed as a Senator;
  3. any person who has been elected as Speaker from among persons who were not members of the National Assembly was qualified to be elected or has vacated the office of Speaker; or
  4. any member of the Assembly has vacated his seat or is required, by virtue of section 31(4), to cease to perform his functions as a member of the Assembly.
(2) An application to the High Court for the determination of any question under subsection (1)(a) may be made by any person entitled to vote in the election to which the application relates or by any person who was, or who alleges that he was, a candidate at that election or by the Attorney-General and, if it is made by a person other than the Attorney-General, the Attorney-General may intervene and may then appear or be represented in the proceedings.

(3) An application to the High Court for the determination of any question under subsection (1)(b) or (1)(c) may be made by any Representative or by the Attorney-General and, if it is made by a person other than the Attorney-General, the Attorney-General may intervene and may then appear or be represented in the proceedings.

(4) An application to the High Court for the determination of any question under subsection (1)(d) may be made-
  1. by any Representative or by the Attorney-General; or
  2. in the case of the seat of a Representative, by any person registered in some constituency as a voter in elections of Representatives, and, if it is made by a person other than the Attorney-General, the Attorney-General may intervene and may then appear and be represented in the proceedings.
(5) There shall be such provision as may be made by Parliament with respect to-
  1. the circumstances and manner in which and the imposition of conditions upon which any application may be to the High Court for determination of any question under this section; and
  2. the powers, practice and procedure of the High Court in relation to any such application.
(6) An appeal shall lie as of right to the Court of Appeal from any final decision of the High Court determining any such question as is referred to in subsection (1).

(7) No appeal shall lie from any decision of the Court of Appeal in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred by subsection (6) and no appeal shall lie from any decision of the High Court in proceedings under this section other than a final decision determining any such question as is referred to in subsection (1) of this section.

(8) In the exercise of his functions under this section, the Attorney-General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

PART 2 Legislation and Procedure in Parliament

Section 37. Power to make laws.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may make laws for the peace, order and good government of Saint Christopher and Nevis.

(2) Save as otherwise provided in subsections (3) and (4) the power of Parliament to make laws having effect in the island of Nevis shall not extend to any of the specified matters (that is to say, matters with respect to which the Nevis Island Legislature has exclusive power to make laws so having effect).

(3) If it is expressly declared in any law enacted by Parliament that the Nevis Island Administration has requested and consented to the enactment in respect to the island of Nevis of any of the provisions of that law relating to any of the specified matters those provisions shall accordingly have effect in the island of Nevis as if they had been enacted by the Nevis Island Legislature and may be amended or revoked accordingly.

(4) At any time when there is in force a declaration made by the Governor-General by proclamation that any provisions of any law enacted by Parliament specified in that declaration (being provisions that relate to a specified matter) are required to have effect in the island of Nevis-
  1. in the interests of external affairs, or
  2. in the interests of defence, those provisions shall accordingly have effect in the island of Nevis; and if there is any inconsistency between those provisions and the provisions of any law enacted by the Nevis Island Legislature, the provisions of the law enacted by Parliament shall prevail.
(5) a law enacted by Parliament shall not be regarded as extending to a specified matter by reason only that it contains incidental or supplementary provisions relating to that matter and having effect in the island of Nevis; and if there is any inconsistency between any such provisions and the provisions of any law enacted by the Nevis Island Legislature, the provisions of the law enacted by Parliament shall prevail.

(6) Parliament may make additions to the specified matters but a bill for that purpose shall not be regarded as being passed in the National Assembly unless on its final reading it is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the Representatives.

(7) In the exercise of his powers to make or revoke any such declaration as is referred to in subsection (4) the Governor-General shall act in accordance with the advice of the prime Minister but no such advice shall be given without the concurrence of the Premier.

Section 38. Alteration of Constitution and Supreme Court Order.
(1) Parliament may alter any of the provisions of this Constitution or of the Supreme Court Order in the manner specified in the following provisions of this section.

(2) A bill to alter any of the provisions of this Constitution or of the Supreme Court Order shall not be regarded as being passed by the National Assembly unless on its final regarding the bill is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the Representatives.

(3) A bill to alter this section, schedule 1 to this Constitution or any of the provisions of this Constitution specified in Part 1 of that schedule or any of the provisions of the Supreme Court Order specified in Part 2 of that schedule shall not be submitted to the Governor-General for his assent unless-
  1. there has been an interval of not less than ninety days between the introduction of the bill in the National Assembly and the beginning of the proceedings in the Assembly on the second reading of the bill; and
  2. after it has been passed by the Assembly the bill has been approved on a referendum by not less than two-thirds of all the votes validity cast on that referendum in the island of Saint Christopher and two-thirds of all the votes validly cast on that referendum in the island of Nevis.
(4) The provisions of paragraph (b) of subsection (3) shall not apply in relation to any bill to alter-
  1. section 99 in order to give effect to any agreement between Saint Christopher and Nevis and the United Kingdom concerning appeals from any court having jurisdiction in Saint Christopher and Nevis to Her Majesty in Council;
  2. any of the provisions of the Supreme Court Order in order to give effect to any international agreement of which Saint Christopher and Nevis is a party relating to the Supreme Court or any other court of law (or any officer or authority having functions in respect of any such court) constituted in common for Saint Christopher and Nevis and for other countries also parties to the agreement; or
  3. any of the provisions of this Constitution relating to the island of Nevis that have become spent or inappropriate as a result of the enactment by the Nevis Island Legislature of a law under section 113(1) providing that the island of Nevis shall cease to be federated with the island of Saint Christopher.
(5) A bill to alter section 104 in its application to other provisions of this Constitution (not being provisions referred to in subsection (3) of this section) shall not be submitted to the Governor-General for his assent unless the alteration is in accordance with a request from, or the consent of the Nevis Island Assembly signified by resolution; and references in section 104 to those other provisions shall not be construed as including references to any law altering those other provisions unless that section is altered so to provide.

(6) Every person who, at the time when a referendum is held for the purposed of this section, would be entitled to vote in elections of Representatives held in the island of Saint Christopher shall be entitled to vote on that referendum in that island; every person who, at that time, would be entitled to vote on that referendum in that island; and no other person shall be entitled to vote on that referendum in the island of Saint Christopher or, as the case may be, in the island of Nevis.

(7) The right of any person to vote on a referendum under this section shall be exercised in accordance with such procedures as may be prescribed by Parliament for the purposes of the referendum.

(8) In any referendum for the purposes of this section the voters shall given by ballot in such manner as not to disclose how any particular person votes.

(9) The conduct of any referendum for the purposes of this section shall be the responsibility of the Supervisor of Elections and the provisions of subsections (4), (5) and (7) of section 34 shall apply in relation to the exercise by the Supervisor of Elections or by any other officer of his functions with respect to a referendum as they apply in relation to the exercise of his functions with respect to elections of Representatives.

(10)
  1. A bill to alter any of the provisions of this Constitution or of the Supreme Court Order shall not be submitted to the Governor-General for his assent unless it is accompanied by certificate under the hand of the Speaker that the provisions of subsection (2) and, where applicable, those of subsection 3(a) have been complied with and, where a referendum has been held in pursuance of subsection (3)(b), by a certificate under the hand of the Supervisor of Elections stating the results of the referendum.
  2. The certificate of the Speaker under this subsection shall be conclusive that the provisions of subsections (2) and, where applicable, those of subsections (3) have been complied with and shall not be enquired into in any court of law.
  3. In this subsection references to the Speaker shall, if the person holding the office of Speaker is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office and no other person is performing them, include references to the Deputy Speaker.
Section 39. Oath.
(1) Every member of the National Assembly shall, before taking his seat in the Assembly, take and subscribe before the Assembly the oath of allegiance but a member may before taking that oath take part in the election of the Speaker.

(2) Any person elected to the office of Speaker shall, if he has not already taken and subscribed the oath of allegiance under subsection (1) take and subscribe that oath before the National Assembly before entering upon the duties of his office.

Section 40. Presiding.
There shall preside at any sitting of the National Assembly-

a) the Speaker.

b) in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker; or

c) in the absence of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, such member of the Assembly (not being a member of the Cabinet or a Parliament Secretary) as the Assembly may elect for that purpose.

Section 41. Voting.
(1) Save as otherwise provided in section 19(8), 37(6) or 38(2), any question proposed for decision in the National Assembly shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members present and voting:

Provided that question of no confidence in the Government shall be determined by a majority of the votes of all the Representatives.

(2) Except in the case of a question of no confidence in the Government, a question shall not be regarded as having been validly determined by a vote in the National Assembly on occasions when the numbers of members voting are recorded unless not less than three-fifths of all the members, or such greater number of members as Parliament may prescribe, take part in the voting.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), a person presiding in the Assembly shall not vote unless on any question the votes of the members are equally divided, in which case he shall have and exercise a casting vote:

Provided that in the case of the question of the final reading of any such bill as is referred to in section 38(2) he shall, if he is a Representative, have an original vote but no casting vote.

(4) A Speaker who was elected from among persons who were not members of the National Assembly shall have neither an original nor a casting vote and if upon any question before the Assembly when such a Speaker is presiding, the votes of the member are equally divided, the motion shall be lost.

Section 42. Mode of exercise of legislative power.
(1) The power of Parliament to make laws shall be exercised by bills passed by the national Assembly and assented to by the Governor-General.

(2) When a bill is submitted to the Governor-General for assent in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution he shall signify that he assents or that he withholds assent.

(3) When the Governor-General assents to a bill that has been submitted to him in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution the bill shall become law and the Governor-General shall thereupon cause it to be published in the Gazette as law.

(4) No law made by Parliament shall come into operation until it has been published in the Gazette but Parliament may postpone the coming into operation of any such law and may make laws with retrospective effect.

Section 43. Restrictions with regard to certain financial measures.
Except on the recommendation of the Governor-General signified by a Minister, the National Assembly shall not-
  1. proceed upon any bill (including any amendment to a bill) that, in the opinion of the person presiding, makes provision for any of the following purposes-
    • for the imposition of taxation or the alteration of taxation otherwise than by reduction;
    • for the imposition of any charge upon the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund of the Government or the alteration of any such charge otherwise than by reduction;
    • for the payment, issue or withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund of the Government of any moneys not charged thereon or any increase in the amount of such payment, issue or withdrawal; or
    • for the composition or remission of any debt due to the Crown in right of the Government; or
  2. proceed upon any motion (including any amendment to a motion) the effect of which, in the opinion of the person presiding, would be to make provision for any of those purposes.
Section 44. Regulation of procedure in National Assembly.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the National Assembly may regulate its own procedure and may in particular make rules for the orderly conduct of its own proceedings.

(2) The National Assembly may act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership (including any vacancy not filled when the Assembly first meets after any general election) and the presence or participation of any person not entitled to be present at or to participate in the proceedings of the Assembly shall not invalidate those proceedings.

Section 45. Freedom of speech.
Without prejudice to any provision made by Parliament relating to the powers, privileges and immunities of the National Assembly and its committees, or the privileges and immunities of the members and officers of the Assembly and of other persons concerned in the business of the Assembly or its committees, no civil or criminal proceedings may be or written in a report to, the Assembly or a committee thereof or by reason of any matter or thing brought by him therein by petition, bill, resolution, motion or otherwise.

PART 3 Summoning, prorogation and dissolution

Section 46. Sessions.
(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.

Section 47. Prorogation and dissolution.
(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.

Section 48. Holding of elections.
(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-
  1. if the vacant seat is that of a Representative, by-election shall be held; or
  2. 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

Section 49. Constituency Boundaries Commission.
(1) 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-
  1. 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;
  2. two members of the National Assembly appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister; and
  3. 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.
(2) A member of the Commission shall vacate his office-
  1. at the next dissolution of Parliament after his appointment,
  2. 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;
  3. 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
  4. 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.
(3) 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.

(4) 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.

Section 50. Review of constituency boundaries.
(1) 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-
  1. 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
  2. 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.
(2) Reports under subsection (1) shall be submitted by the Commission at intervals of not less than two nor more than five years.

(3) 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.

(4) 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.

(5) 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.

(6) 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.

(7) 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.