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The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2015

[4th February 2015]

An ACT to Limit the Durations of Parliaments and to Regulate the Election of the Prime Minister.

BE IT ENACTED by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords and Burgesses in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SHORT TITLE:

This Act may be cited for all purposes as “The Fixed-term Parliaments Bill 2015.”

A. THE COMMENCEMENT AND DURATION OF THE SECOND PARLIAMENT

1. Following the Dissolution of this First and present Parliament, the Second Parliament shall be opened no later than 40 days thereafter.

2. The precise date of the opening of the Second Parliament shall be determined by His Majesty in Council, which date shall be given in the Writ of Summons as usual.

3. His Majesty’s Government shall advise His Majesty to dissolve the Second Parliament on Wednesday, 7th October 2015, until which date the Second Parliament shall endure.

4. The failure of the Government to so advise the King shall not constrain His Majesty from the execution of his role.

5. The Lord Chancellor or other the moderator of the Second Parliament shall not entertain a motion for a vote of non-confidence in His Majesty’s Government for the duration of the Second Parliament, which Parliament shall not be dissolved for any reason before the appointed date of Wednesday, 7th October 2015.

6. Between the commencement of the Second Parliament and the dissolution of the same on Wednesday, 7th October 2015, Parliament may be prorogued at any time in the usual manner by His Majesty on the advice of His Majesty’s Government, provided that the sitting of Parliament is resumed at least one week prior to the date appointed for Parliament’s dissolution aforesaid (Wednesday, 7th October 2015).

B. THE COMMENCEMENT AND DURATION OF THE THIRD PARLIAMENT AND OF ALL SUBSEQUENT PARLIAMENTS

1. His Majesty’s Government shall advise His Majesty to open the Third Parliament and all subsequent Parliaments at a date of His Majesty’s choosing between Monday and Friday of the last full-week of the month of October.

2. The precise date of the opening of Parliament shall be determined by His Majesty in Council, which date shall be indicated in the Writ of Summons as usual.

3. In the event of a failure of His Majesty’s Government to advise His Majesty as to the opening of Parliament, His Majesty shall not be constrained by the lack of advice and may issue his Writ of Summons as usual.

4. Contingent upon the sustainability of His Majesty’s Government, the Third Parliament and all subsequent Parliaments shall endure from the dates of their openings until the first Wednesday of October of the following year, prior to which His Majesty’s Government shall advise His Majesty to dissolve Parliament.

5. The failure of the Government to so advise the King shall not constrain His Majesty from the execution of his role.

6. A sitting Parliament may be prorogued as often as His Majesty, on the advice of the His Majesty’s Government, shall think fit to prorogue it, provided that it is in session at least one week prior to its dissolution.

C. THE NOMINATION OF THE PRIME MINISTER DURING THE SECOND PARLIAMENT

1. His Majesty may, at his pleasure, retain the present Government until the moment of the opening of the Second Parliament, at which precise moment the present Government shall automatically dissolve.

2. Following the delivery of His Majesty’s Most Gracious Speech, the Humble Address, and the administration of the Affirmation of Loyalty as usual, the next order of business of the Second Parliament shall be the nomination of an qualified individual who shall be recommended by Parliament to His Majesty for appointment as Prime Minister. An individual is qualified for nomination who is a lawfully-initiated subject of His Majesty having a place and a voice in the sitting Parliament according to law.

3. The aforesaid order of business may occur immediately after the administration of the Affirmation of Loyalty or be postponed to a more convenient moment or day at the discretion of the Lord Chancellor or other the moderator of Parliament, but it may not be postponed any later than 48 hours following the opening of Parliament, nor may the introduction of any Bill precede it.

4. The aforesaid order of business shall commence by the instruction of the Lord Chancellor or other the moderator of Parliament, who shall instruct those of the assembled Lords and Burgesses of Parliament who do not wish to be considered for the office of Prime Minister to step forward at once to publicly declare their unwillingness before the assembled Parliament. In such wise they shall be disqualified and eliminated from consideration to be considered for the Office of Prime Minister. Members may nominate another individual in Parliament to be considered for the Office of Prime Minister, but the member nominated must publicly accept that nomination within the allotted time for the nomination to be accepted. A period of no sooner and no later than twenty-four hours shall be allotted for this purpose.

5. Twenty-four hours having passed, the Lord Chancellor or other the moderator of Parliament shall read the names of those Lords and Burgesses who have disqualified themselves signified a willingness to be considered for the Office of Prime Minister. Only citizens who have signified a willingness to be considered for the Office of Prime Minister may be nominated and appear on the ballot.

6. The Lord Chancellor or other the moderator of Parliament shall then advise the Lords and Burgesses of Parliament to nominate a qualified colleague for the office of Prime Minister by submitting his or her name to His Majesty by way of some suitable private communication or other. A period of no sooner and no later than twenty-four hours shall be allotted for this purpose submitting a ballot using the standard form outlined by law.

7. Twenty-four hours having passed, His Majesty may tally the nominations and report the result to Parliament.

8. In the event that a qualified candidate shall have gained a plurality of the votes of those Lords and Burgesses who have participated in the nomination process, the Lord Chancellor shall then, formally, in the name of the assembled Lords and Burgesses in Parliament, recommend to His Majesty the appointment of the said candidate to the office of Prime Minister.

9. In the event that no qualified candidate shall have received a plurality of the nominations of his colleagues, the Lord Chancellor, having been informed of the same by the King, shall inform Parliament of their failure to successfully nominate a candidate for the office of Prime Minister, and the process for the nomination shall be repeated at some convenient time appointed by the Lord Chancellor or other the moderator of Parliament, which shall be no later than 48 hours following the reporting of the result by His Majesty.

10. In the event that Parliament shall fail to successfully nominate a candidate for the office of Prime Minister following the second ballot, the aforesaid process shall repeat again.

11. Should Parliament, after a third ballot, fail to successfully nominate a candidate for the office of Prime Minister, His Majesty may then approach any Lord or Burgess of Parliament of his choosing to form His Majesty’s Government.

12. In the event that there should emerge no candidates for nomination, His Majesty may make arrangements for his Government as shall seem to him fitting without any further recourse to Parliament until the next Parliament shall sit.

D. THE NOMINATION OF THE PRIME MINISTER DURING THE THIRD PARLIAMENT AND ALL SUBSEQUENT PARLIAMENTS

1. His Majesty shall, at his pleasure, retain the Government (or the last Government) formed during the previous Parliament until the moment of the opening of the next Parliament, at which moment the said Government shall automatically dissolve.

2. The procedures for the nomination of a candidate for the office of Prime Minister as outlined in the previous Section shall be followed.

E. EXTRAORDINARY DISSOLUTIONS OF PARLIAMENT

1. In the event that a member of Parliament moves “That this Parliament has no confidence in His Majesty’s Government” at least 61 days prior to the scheduled conclusion of a sitting Parliament or earlier, the Prime Minister shall advise His Majesty to dissolve Parliament at once and to summon a new Parliament within 10 business days of the dissolution. The newly summoned Parliament shall endure until the date appointed for the dissolution of the previous Parliament, and for the duration of the same no further motions of non-confidence in the Government shall be entertained by the Lord Chancellor or other the moderator of Parliament.

2. Motions of non-confidence in His Majesty’s Government shall not be entertained by the Lord Chancellor or other the moderator of Parliament 60 days prior to the scheduled conclusion of a Parliament or later.

F. EARLY NOMINATIONS OF THE PRIME MINISTER

1. An early nomination of a candidate for the office of Prime Minister is to take place if Parliament is dissolved prior to its expected date of dissolution on account of a successful a motion of non-confidence in His Majesty’s Government.

2. In the event that His Majesty’s Government shall resign, collapse, or cease to exist for any reason apart from the success of a Parliamentary motion of non-confidence, His Majesty may supply for the deficiency as he shall think fit, without recourse to Parliament, until a new Government is formed at the beginning of the next Parliament as per the procedure outlined above in Section C shall appoint a caretaker Prime Minister with the advice of the outgoing Prime Minister or His Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council who will serve until a new Prime Minister is elected. Following this resignation or collapse, elections for a Prime Minister should immediately proceed as outlined in Section C above.

3. In the event of the necessitation of an early nomination of a candidate for the office of Prime Minister due to the early dissolution of Parliament, the procedure outlined in Section 3 shall commence no later than five business days following the opening of the new Parliament.

G. WHEN THE LORDS AND BURGESSES SHALL SIT IN SEPARATE HOUSES

1. Should it be the case that the Lords and Burgesses shall sit in separate houses, they shall nevertheless act as one body under the moderation of the Lord Chancellor for the nomination of a candidate for the office of Prime Minister and they shall follow the procedure for the nomination as indicated above in Section C.

2. If the Lord Chancellor is unavailable to preside over the nomination procedure, then the Speaker of the House of Burgesses shall preside.

3. In the event that neither the Lord Chancellor nor the Speaker of the House of Burgesses is able to preside over the nomination procedure, then His Majesty may assume personal responsibility for the task, or he may delegate some other suitable person to attend to the task on his behalf as he shall think fit.

H. CLARIFICATION OF TERMS

1. Any and all references to the King or to “His Majesty” shall also be construed in such wise to refer to His Majesty’s heirs and successors according to law, both male and female, or to a Regent acting in the place of His Majesty or any of His Majesty’s heirs and successors according to law.

2. By the term “dissolution” is meant the final cessation and total dispersion of a sitting Parliament through the dismissal of the same by His Majesty’s command.

3. By the term “prorogation” is meant the period of temporary cessation of the activities of a sitting Parliament which obtains between two discrete sessions of the same Parliament.

4. By the term “other the moderator of Parliament” is meant any lawful member of Parliament responsible for the moderation of Parliament in the absence of the Lord Chancellor.

I. COMMENCEMENT

1. This Act and all the provisions therein shall come into force upon receiving the Royal Assent.

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