Cabinet ceased to exist immediately on night of No-Confidence vote

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The Cabinet of the Coalition Government ceased to exist immediately upon the passage of the No Confidence motion on the night of December 21, 2018, Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George-Wiltshire ruled Thursday afternoon.

The President and his senior ministers form the Cabinet, which meets regularly to make decisions and decide whether to give a “no objection” to the award of contracts.

Article 106 (6) of the Constitution dictates that the President and Cabinet shall resign if there is the passage of a No Confidence motion.

However, the Chief Justice noted that there is no provision in the constitution for there to be a “formal” resignation and so it was her view that the Cabinet ceased to exist once the motion was carried.

While the Cabinet no longer exists, she ruled that Article 106 (7) of the constitution provides for the President and the Government to remain in place for three months after the passage of the motion; they can remain for longer once there is agreement by a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly.

She clarified that the Cabinet is just a sub-set of the Government and therefore the Government can continue to function without the Cabinet. 

She ruled that while the Cabinet cannot meet and function as it did before, nothing prevents the President from directing his Ministers.

Further, she said the absence of a Cabinet does not prevent the Parliament from functioning.

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