Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Julian Fraser announced that a constitutional issue arose from the appointment of the two Junior Ministers recently, and he informed Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith and the House of Assembly that constitutional changes might be required.
Hon. Fraser announced in the House of Assembly on 4 February that he is supportive of the addition of Junior Ministers, and stated that he indicated his support to the Premier when the announcement was made. However, the Opposition Leader said that new considerations might need to be made to accommodate the appointment.
“It (junior minister positions) creates what I consider to be a situation that really requires some consideration as far as expansion…,” Hon. Fraser declared.
“Madame Speaker there is a possibility in some House, apparently not this one yet, [that]the Government side might be comprised of all Ministers…When the Constitution was done in 2007 and we were looking for a sixth minister there was a formula setup; that in order to get a sixth minister the house must be expanded by two members and the explanation was given,” Hon. Fraser added.
Therefore, Hon. Fraser said that the constitutional amendment should indicate conditions for appointment of junior minister. “What I am saying Madam Speaker is that the Constitution should now be amended to say that these two Junior Ministers can only be appointed if the Government side has a certain number.”
“A mere majority on the Government side is seven — five ministers plus two junior ministers that’s seven…I am warning the Premier that there is need for amendment to the Constitution to accommodate such future appointments,” Hon. Fraser stated.
Premier Smith described the suggestion made by the Leader of the Opposition as an interesting one and announced that he is sure that there will be constitutional changes coming up.
However, the Premier stated that he is sure that a government would not appoint junior ministers when it is not appropriate.