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Removing an MLA from office

| 07/12/2017 | 1 Comment

While I am familiar with the process for removing a premier and the speaker from the speakership, the process for removing an MLA from the Legislative Assembly entirely is unfamiliar to me. Would I be correct in assuming that it includes a formal review and a vote in the LA? Also in the case of resignation or the death of an MLA during his or her term one can assume there would be a by-election but are there any guidelines or rules set in stone that the public should be aware of, such as the mandated period for the by-election along with the specifics of the term of the new MLA?

Auntie’s answer: For those readers not as acquainted with the rules, technically the governor, under Section 49 of the Cayman Islands Constitution, appoints the premier. The governor can revoke that appointment if the Legislative Assembly passes a no-confidence motion in the government.

The speaker is elected by MLAs at the first sitting of the Legislative Assembly under Section 65 of the Constitution; removal of the speaker requires the LA to pass a motion to do so.

As far as an MLA goes, the clerk of the Legislative Assembly explained that a member cannot be “voted out” in the LA. Once elected, an MLA can only be “removed” as such by the public through a subsequent election.

If an MLA resigns or dies during his or her term, then a by-election can be held; this process is governed by the Elections Law and facilitated by the Elections Office, the clerk explained, adding that Section 86 of the Constitution also covers the specifics of a by-election: “Whenever any person vacates his or her seat as a member of the Legislative Assembly for any reason other than its dissolution, an election to fill the vacancy shall be held within two months after the occurrence of the vacancy, unless the Assembly is sooner dissolved or the date on which the Assembly must be dissolved under section 84(3) is less than four months after the occurrence of the vacancy.”

In addition, a person voted in through a by-election is only allowed to serve the remainder of the term of the departed MLA.

The documents mentioned in this column can be found on the CNS Library


Category: Ask Auntie, Election Questions

Comments (1)

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  1. West bay Premier says:

    You mean that it’s perfectly OK for any Elected Member of LA to commit and do any crime on the Island and cannot removed by the majority members . How privileged and corrupt they have protected themselves.
    I am happy to know that the voters can remove come next Election .
    I believe that enough people should have enough power to do his/her removal before the next Election or should.

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