The BVI’s House of Assembly (HOA) has been prorogued, bringing the Fourth Session of the Fourth House of Assembly to an end.
According to a recent government release, Governor John Rankin
, acting in conjunction with Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley, prorogued the HOA effective December 30 until such a time a new session is appointed.
Proroguing a legislative body discontinues meetings without dissolving the Assembly. However, the law-making body is still constituted while the HOA is prorogued.
Section 84 (1) of the Virgin Islands
Constitution Order, 2007 states that the Governor may, acting in accordance with the advice of the Premier, prorogue the House of Assembly at any time, but he shall prorogue the House at least once every calendar year, except in any year when the House is dissolved.
Further, Section 82 of the constitution states that there shall be a session of the House from time to time so that a period of three months does not intervene between the last sitting in one session and the first sitting of the next session.
The First Sitting of the Fifth Session is expected to commence in the next few weeks with the Speech from the Throne, delivered by Governor Rankin.
The Throne Speech essentially details the elected government’s legislative agenda for the upcoming year and expresses most of the priorities for the Government of National Unity to implement.
There were nine sittings in the Fourth Session of the Fourth House of Assembly, which also saw a reconstitution of the government following the arrest of former Premier Andrew Fahie
in the United States on charges of drug smuggling and money laundering.