THE EXECUTIVE BODY
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 Opposition.
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 Representatives.
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.