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It first happened in 2010 with Girlyn Miguel. Then when Sir Louis Straker was made Deputy Prime Minister in 2015, Peter Binose wrote in 2015 and pointed out that there was legally no such position and therefore no such office.
There was no Constitutional provision whatsoever for such a position to be occupied or even to be established, there was total silence they ignored Binose, made no reply. There were many instances then, and since, of ignoring the Constitution and doing whatever they liked, even if unconstitutional.
Many of the things Binose brought to our attention remain to this day unanswered.
The Governor-General is appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines or the Prime Minister and takes an oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II, who is Queen of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Head of State. Executive authority is vested in the Monarch, though much of it can be exercisable only by the Governor-General on behalf of the Sovereign of the independent Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Ralph Gonsalves is not World Boss; I am sure most in the hemisphere had a good laugh at his expense, to the humiliation of all Vincentians.
Creating the Office of Deputy Prime Minister
Under the terms of the 1979 Constitution of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, it is not Constitutional and therefore not legal to select, appoint, any person and swear them in as a Deputy Prime Minister. There is no such provision in the Constitution; the ULP Government has no right to present a person to be Deputy Prime Minister as they have done by asking the Governor-General swear in North Windward member of Parliament Montgomery Daniel.
The Constitution only allows for three Deputy positions, Deputy to Governor-General, Deputy Speaker, and Deputy Commissioner of Police.
If there were any intention by the draftsmen of the 1979 Constitution to include such a position and title in the Constitution, they would have made provision within the Constitution Deed for the position of Deputy Prime Minister. There is no provision for such a role. If a Deputy Prime Minister were required the political masters at the time would have insisted that the position of Deputy Prime Minister be included in the Constitution, they did not. In fact, by excluding it compounds the reasoning that they deliberately did not want to have such a position or office.
Despite that, there are provisions within the Constitution for a stand-in for the Prime Minister due to illness or absence.
Performance of Functions of Prime Minister During Absence or Illness
- (1) Whenever the Prime Minister is absent from Saint Vincent or by reason of illness is unable to perform the functions conferred upon him by this Constitution, the Governor-General may authorize some other minister to perform those functions (other than the functions conferred by this section), and that minister may perform those functions until the Governor-General revokes his authority.
(2) The powers of the Governor-General under this section will be exercised by him with the accordance of the advice of the Prime Minister;
Provided that if the Governor-General, acting in his own deliberate judgment, considers that it is impracticable to obtain the advice of the Prime Minister owing to his absence or illness he may exercise those powers without that advice and in his own deliberate judgment.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Constitution is online and available for everyone to read: –
There is no provision in the Constitution for the Governor-General to appoint or make someone a Deputy Prime Minister, not permanently or for any other term or period whatsoever, not even temporarily.
There is no provision for a Deputy Prime Minister, and an Acting Prime Minister, or Temporary Prime Minister to be appointed to act at the same time as the Prime Minister as an aid, as an assistant to the Prime Minister, or at all. For instance for such a so-called Deputy Prime Minister to go abroad or to the UN to carry out duties or to attend as Deputy Prime Minister may be Ultra Vires, as may be the very naming and making of such an office or title. And therefore, any treaties, Bills, Laws, contracts, or legal documents he will sign may be refutable, unenforceable, and without force or legal reason.
The Prime Minister and the Government are subject to the law, the law is subject to the Constitution, whether acting by prerogative power or otherwise. The rule of law protects the sovereignty of Parliament, not the assertion of power by the Executive over the Legislature.
Is it “ultra vires” et separatim “unconstitutional” for the Prime Minister, to purport to advise the Governor-General to swear in a minister under the title of Deputy Prime Minister when there is no provision to do so in the Constitution.
Now in 2020, once again Prime Minister Dr Ralph E Gonsalves advised the Governor-General to swear in someone as Deputy Prime Minister. And that happened when the elected representative for North Windward Montgomery Daniel was sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister at Government House on Saturday 7th November 2020.
I am calling for an investigation into the authority to make this man Deputy Prime Minister and if it is a gross violation of the 1979 Constitution of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
NDP what is your opinion?
[The singular includes the plural and vice versa and he shall include she; Following the custom in regulations, references to “he” or “him” include “she” or “her”, and so on. In this policy and associated guidance, “he” is deemed to include “she”]
If anyone thinks what I have written here is in any way incorrect, please make comments below, or write a reply to this and ask the editor to post it.
The opinions and statements herein are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the publisher.