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Select Committee on Parliamentary Reform - 340/2019

May 10, 2019

The Government has supported a report to the Parliament from the Select Committee on Parliamentary Reform for the enlargement of Parliament from 17 to 25 members.

The Chief Minister, Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, reported to the Select Committee that the Executive Committees of the GSLP and the Liberal Party had approved the proposal for enlargement but with a commitment to keep the number of ministers as it is now, 10, so that new members on the Government benches would be back benchers. In order to elect the increased number of members, each voter at the election will have 15 votes instead of 10.

The Chief Minister said: "We have supported this reform, which has been the subject of the work of the Committee, in order to improve the quality of our democracy by ensuring that there are more Members of Parliament than there are members of the Executive. That delivers a closer alignment to the Westminster parliamentary model of government. I am sure this will enhance our democracy.

I believe that people will understand that they need to continue to block vote in order to have a government of the party political nature they wish to see, with the back benchers being additional representatives of that party. I look forward to agreeing the terms of the motion to be presented to the Parliament in my name and that of the Leader of the Opposition and to presenting the necessary legislation to amend our laws to make this a reality in time for the next election."