Newsletter Of The Montserrat Legislature
March 27th, 2023
- Parliamentary Corner
- Parliamentary News
- Parliamentary Story
- Activity Corner
- Lindsay Hoyle; Speaker of the House of Commons; London visited Montserrat from March 31st to April 1st, 2023.
- The Overseas Territories Speakers Conference was held in Anguilla from April 3rd to April 6th 2023. Madam Speaker White and Madam Clerk, Baker attended this conference.
The Office of The Montserrat Legislature is pleased to offer you the second edition of its newsletter.
In the previous edition we dealt with our first functionary of the House; the Speaker. Our second featured functionary is the Premier.
Prior to September 2011 when the 2010 Montserrat Constitution was enacted, the leader of Government business was called Chief Minister. From 1961- 2011, seven men have held the portfolio of Chief Minister. William H Bramble became the first Chief Minister and Rueben T Meade the last Chief Minister. Since the name was changed from Chief Minister to Premier in 2011, there have been three Premiers. Mr. Rueben T Meade was the first Premier and Mr. Donaldson Romeo the second. Mr. Joseph E Farrell, our current Premier, is the third appointed Premier of Montserrat.
WHO IS THE PREMIER?
- Is an elected member of Government who is chosen by the members of his party, after a General Election, to become the leader of government business.
- Is referred to as the Premier instead of Prime Minister because we are still a dependent territory.
- Is the main and first point of contact after the appointed representative of the monarchy (the Governor).
- As leader of government business, has the responsibility of setting the tone of the government and for the overall direction of what transpires in the government.
- In the Montserrat context usually holds the portfolio of Minister of Finance and Economic Management.
During the January and February 2023 sittings of Parliament. Two bills were passed. The Labour Code (Amendment) Bill 2022 was passed in January and the Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill 2023 in the February sitting.
On 23rd March 2023, the Montserrat Legislative Assembly went into mourning, after learning of the passing of its first appointed Speaker of the House, Sir Howard A Fergus.
Sir Howard was not only the first appointed Speaker but was the youngest and currently holds the record of being the longest serving Speaker in not just Montserrat but the entire commonwealth.
Parliamentary Story; 1952 - 2019
***As we continue to journey through 70 years of Parliamentary Democracy, we will share the Parliamentary story by featuring different aspects of our Parliament’s history in the upcoming newsletters.
THE THIRD DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATORS –
The fourth Democratic Parliament was elected in
1961. Members of parliament were now able to
hold ministerial portfolios and therefore William
H. Bramble was officially appointed as the first
Chief Minister of Montserrat; although he had
carried out the role for many years. Another
change that took place was that there was an
increase in the number of years that
Parliamentarians could hold office. Instead of
the three (3) years, which previous Parliaments
had served before fresh elections took place; the
Parliament could now serve for five (5) years.
As part of the changes which took place, three
new constituencies were added. These were the
North-western, Plymouth, and Eastern
constituencies. They were added to the
Northern, Central, Southern, and Windward
constituencies, thus bringing the total to seven.
These seven constituencies continued until
2001. William H. Bramble, Michael Walkinshaw,
Brunel W. Edwards, Herman H. Lee, Margaret R.
Kelsick, and Michael Dyer were returned to
office, while Christopher Fenton and James W.
Allen were elected for the first time.
QUESTION AND ANSWER
- The 1961 General Elections was
historic, name two things that
happened during this electoral year?
- The number of years that
Parliamentarians could hold office was
increased to five years and currently
this still stands. How many years were
they able to hold office for, before the
1961 General Elections?
- When the first General Elections was
held in 1952 there were only four
constituencies. In 1961, three new
constituencies were added to bring the
total number of constituencies to seven.
Name these three constituencies.
Published by the Montserrat Legislature
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