When a new Government is elected, or when there is a vacancy for the office of Prime Minister, the
Governor-General appoints as Prime Minister, the member of the House of Representatives who, in
the Governor-General’s judgement, is best able to command the confidence of the majority of the
members of that House.
The Prime Minister forms and presides over the Cabinet. He/She advises the Queen on the
appointment of the Governor-General and he/she advises the Governor-General on the
appointment of the six members of the Privy Council, on the dissolution of Parliament and on
appointments of the Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal and the three service
commissions enshrined in the Constitution.
In the case of the appointments of the senior members of the judiciary and the service
commissions, however, the Prime Minister’s advice is given after consultation with the Leader of the
The Prime Minister also nominates 13 of the 21 members of the Senate.
The Cabinet is the centre of the system of Government. It initiates Government policies and
programmes, and is responsible for the general direction and control of the Government.
The Cabinet must consist of the Prime Minister and not less than 11 other ministers (no upper limit
is specified). Not more than four ministers must be appointed from the Senate, and they may have
portfolio responsibilities. The other Cabinet Ministers are appointed from the House of
Cabinet Ministers may be assisted by Ministers of State and Parliamentary Secretaries.
Each minister conducts the ordinary business of his ministry without referring to any other
Minister. However, important matters, especially those which may become the subject of
discussion in Parliament, are brought before the Cabinet for discussion and decision.
Budget Debate vs Sectoral Debate Presentation
The Budget Debate is opened by the Minister of Finance who outlines how the various programmes
and policies of the Government will be financed and how the money will be raised.
Other speakers by convention include:
…The Prime Minister
…The Leader of the Opposition
…The Opposition Spokesman on Finance
…Ministers selected by the Government
…Selected Opposition Spokespersons
The Budget debate is closed by the Minister of Finance after all the presentations are made.
The Sectoral Debates
Ministers of Government and all Members of Parliament who did not contribute to the budget
debate are expected to make their presentations in these sessions.