St Helena is gearing up for upcoming elections and its new ministerial system bringing it in line with other UK overseas territories.
In preparation for the new form of government, a public information campaign has been launched explaining to residents how the new system will work.
Parliament has already been dissolved and the polls must be held by October.
The most recent instalment in the ongoing series coordinated by the Governor’s Office, focuses on the Ministerial System is and how it is different from the territory’s current system of Governance.
For the upcoming elections, for which a date is yet to be set, 12 members of the public must be elected to form the Legislative Council (LegCo). This will be done at this year’s General Election and only those people who have put their names on the Register of Electors will be able to cast a vote.
The Attorney General will also be a Member of LegCo but ex-officio and non-voting. There will also continue to be a Speaker and Deputy Speaker for LegCo. The Chief Secretary and Financial Secretary are currently non-voting Members of LegCo but will no longer be Members under the new system.
Outlining how the Chief Minister will be selected it says there will be ‘expressions of interest’ from the LegCo members who will then elect a Chief Minister from amongst them.
Two significant elements of transparency and accountability the new government system entail the creation of Scrutiny Committees that examine issues in each portfolio, and a weekly ‘Chief Minister and Ministers’ Question Time’ where the cabinet members will be questioned by other Elected Members in an open meeting under the direction of the Speaker.