Section 51 (8) of SVGs constitution answers this question

By Demion McTair. Updated 1:18 p.m., Sunday, October 10, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

Discussion: Parliament was dissolved on Friday, October 9, 2020, with the 2020 General Election slated for Thursday, November 5, 2020.

In response to the dissolution, some persons have been saying that the Governor-General, who has ceremonial and reserve powers is in charge of the country until a new government is elected and sworn in.

Some persons have even gone further to say that all ministerial portfolios, including that of the Prime Minister are no longer active.

There are three arms of government with their own powers. Parliament is the law-making body and gives power to the Executive branch to execute those laws. The Judiciary usually interprets laws that are made and sometimes makes laws, through common law precedent.

The fact that the Executive branch of government gets its powers from the Legislative branch (Parliament) is used by some to solidify their point that the Executive (Cabinet) is no longer in session.

What is not addressed, however, is the duration of the powers of ministers of Government.

Section 51 of the constitution of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the supreme law of the land, provides valuable insight this issue.

Section 51 (8):

“The office of any Minister shall become vacant if the holder of the office ceases to be a member of the House otherwise than by reason of the dissolution of
b. in the case of the Prime Minister, if, when the House first
meets after the dissolution of Parliament, he is not
c. In the case of any other Minister, if when the House first
meets after the dissolution of Parliament, he is not then a
member of the House…”

Excerpt from the Constitution of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The keyword in point a is “otherwise”. Points b, and c are also clear.

Though the constitutions provides valuable insight on the matter. It would be great to hear alternative interpretations (especially those from legal experts).

What do you think?

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