Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica

Election of President

Whenever the office of President is vacant or the term of office of the President is due to expire within not more than ninety days, the Prime Minister shall consult with the Leader of the Opposition as to their joint nomination of a suitable candidate for election as President.

If the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition submit to the Speaker by writing under their hands a joint nomination of a candidate for election as President to which that candidate has consented, the Speaker shall inform the House of the nomination, and declare that candidate to have been duly elected without putting the question to the vote.

If the Prime Minister is unable to agree with the Leader of the Opposition as to their joint nomination of a candidate for election as President, he shall notify the Speaker to that effect and the Speaker shall inform the House accordingly.

The Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition or any three members of the House may, during the period expiring fourteen days after the day on which the House has been so informed, submit to the Speaker by writing under their hands nominations of candidates for election as President and the Speaker shall at the first meeting of the House after the expiration of that period and before the House proceeds to any other business inform the House of the nominations he has received and to which the candidates concerned have consented.

An election of the President at which the candidates shall be those of whose nomination the House has been informed by the Speaker, shall thereafter be held at the meeting of the House referred to in Paragraph (2) above (of if proceedings under section 22 of the Constitution - determination of questions as to qualifications are pending before the Court of Appeal, at a meeting of the House held as soon as it is practicable after those proceedings) and the Speaker shall declare the candidate who has at that election received the votes of a majority of all the members of the House to have been duly elected.

Provided that when the question of the election of the President is put to the vote, the votes shall be given by ballot in such a manner as not to disclose how any particular member of the House votes.

Where the only candidate for election under Paragraph (3) above does not receive the votes of a majority of all the members of the House, the Speaker shall inform the House accordingly and a new election shall be held to which the provisions of Paragraphs (2) and (3) above shall, mutatis mutandis, apply.

The scope of the office does not include the executive functions of Government, yet the position is more than symbolic, and is in fact, central to the successful running of Government. This ultimately makes the office significant.

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