SKNIS Photo: Speaker of the National Assembly, the Honourable A. Michael Perkins

Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 17, 2020 (SKNIS): Federal Elections in St. Kitts and Nevis are constitutionally due in 2020. While the selection of the exact date of the election lies with the Prime Minister, the Constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis provides guidelines about the timeframe when an election must be held.

The issue was one of several parliamentary and constitutional matters that were discussed on this week’s edition of the Working for You radio and television programme held on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. Speaker of the National Assembly, the Honourable A. Michael Perkins, was the special guest for this edition, which was the first of the new year.

While addressing the rules concerning the dissolution or prorogation of Parliament, Speaker Perkins indicated that the Constitution dictates that the first sitting of a National Assembly must take place within 90 days of the last general election.

In this particular case, the last general election in St. Kitts and Nevis was held on February 16, 2015.

“The House (National Assembly) first met in May 2015 – three months after the election. And once the House would have had that first meeting, there is when the actual 5 years begins you know,” Speaker Perkins stated, referring to the five-year term allowed to a government.

The first sitting of parliament was on May 14, 2015. It featured the reading of the Throne Speech by Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton, the Governor General’s Deputy at that time.

The speaker shared that the parliament “has to be dissolved by mid-May this year and once it’s dissolved you still have another 90 days by which an election must be held.”

Chapter Four, Part Three of the Constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis: Summoning, prorogation and dissolution” of the Parliament is dealt with in Sections 46-48.