Parliament

National Assembly

of St. Kitts and Nevis

History

The first sitting of the National Assembly/Parliament of St. Kitts and Nevis was in 1960

Procedure

Parliamentary procedure in the National Assembly is dictated by a number of legal instruments being the Constitution, the National Assembly Elections Act, Cap 2.01 and the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Cap. 2.04. The Standing Orders of the National Assembly provide the most specific rules of parliament including rules on time and manner of speaking during a debate, notice requirements, powers of the Speaker, parliamentary committees and the order of how the business of Parliament should be conducted. The Standing Orders are the fourth schedule of the National Assembly Elections Act.

How a bill is passed

A bill is a proposal for a new law or a proposal to amend an existing law. A bill has to be debated in parliament and must go through “three readings” before it is passed.

Essentially, when it is said that a bill is read, it means that the long title of the Bill is read into the parliament record. At the appropriate times during a parliament sitting, the Clerk or Deputy Clerk of Parliament will read the long title out loud three times during one or more sittings of parliament. Each reading represents a different stage in the passage of the bill.

First Reading

First reading means that the Bill has now been introduced to the public and should be available for public scrutiny. Debate on the contents or purpose of the Bill follows. That debate may take place in the same sitting or it may occur at a subsequent sitting within a particular session of parliament. However, according to Standing Order 57, generally bills should not pass through more than two readings in any one sitting but this can be done if the mover of the bill obtains the approval of Parliament to formally suspend that Standing Order prior to reading the Bill a third time.

Second Reading

The Bill is read a second time when the debate between the parliamentarians ends. After the second reading, the House goes into “Committee stage” where all parliamentarians (referred to as a Committee of the whole) or a select few (a Select Committee) consider the Bill clause by clause and any proposed amendments are discussed and voted on. Thereafter, the mover of the Bill i.e. the parliamentarian who proposed the Bill reports to the Parliament whether any changes have been made.

Third Reading

On completion of the second reading, the approval of Parliament is sought to have the Bill read a third time and passed. Thereafter the Bill is sent to the Governor General for his assent and published in the Gazette. Having passed through all these stages, the Bill would now be referred to as an Act and comes into effect as law on the date published or on a specific date prescribed by the Minister.

Parliament Members

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The Hon. Dr. Terrance Michael Drew

Prime Minister - St. Christopher #8

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The Hon. Dr. Geoffrey Hanley

Deputy Prime Minister - St. Christopher #1

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The Hon. Konris Gregor Menten Maynard

St. Christopher #3

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The Right Hon. Dr. Denzil Llewellyn Douglas

St. Christopher #6

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The Hon. Marsha Tamika Henderson

St. Christopher #2

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The Hon. Samal Mojah Duggins

St. Christopher #4

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The Hon. Dr. Joyelle Clarke

Senator

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The Hon. Isalean Phillip

Senator

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The Hon. Garth Wilkin

Attorney General

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The Hon. Mark A. G. Brantley

Leader of the Opposition - St. Christopher #9

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The Hon. Alexis A. Jefferes

St. Christopher #11

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The Hon. Eric Evelyn

St. Christopher #10

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Lanein Blanchette

Speaker of the National Assembly

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Latoya Biyanca Jones

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly

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Dr the Hon. Timothy Sylvester Harris

St. Christopher #7

MP S Richards
The Hon. Shawn Kenneth Richards

St. Christopher #5

St. Kitts was once known as the Gibraltar of the West Indies for its domination of 18th- century colonial battles. How the island rose to become the world’s leader in sugarcane cultivation, an inspiration for the industrial revolution in the process.

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