President of the Executive Council
|President of the Executive Council|
|Style||The Right Honourable|
|Term length||At His Majesty's pleasure|
|Inaugural||Sir George Wheeler|
|Formation||18 February 1836|
The role of President of the Executive Council can be traced back the Ingerish (originally English) office of Lord President of the Council, which is thought to date back at least 1529, when in the reign of Henry VIII, the office was established for the Duke of Suffolk.
The office of President of the Executive Council dates to 1836, when New Ingerland was itself founded. Until 1907, the office was always held by the Ingerish Resident Commissioner, thereby enabling him to act as the Sovereign's First Minister. From 1854, the Resident Commissioner sat in the Senate and was at least in theory responsible to the Parliament for his actions, although in reality he was able to wield considerable power and influence over the native parliamentarians.
With independence in 1907, the office was retained, with the President now being held by the person who could command a majority in the House of Assembly. From this time, the office was always combined with that of the Prime Minister, thereby giving constitutional authority to that previously unrecognised office.
When the present constitution came into operation 1982, it was decided that the existing arrangements had served the country well and should be allowed to continue. As is common in constitutions throughout the Commonwealth of Nations, the premiership is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution of New Ingerland. This omissions may appear odd, especially given the power held by the office in discharging the various powers of the Royal Prerogative, and is something of an anomaly unique to the Westminster system. The exact structure of the New Ingerland's executive power is based upon the constitutions of Australia, Northern Ireland, and the Irish Free State.
This circuitous method of defining the powers of the premiership was a deliberate decision made by the writers of the Constitution, who wished to provide the constitution with a degree of flexibility and not bind the ever-evolving Cabinet style of government in any way. However, it should be acknowledged that there is no legal requirement that the two offices are held by the same person, and in theory they can be held by different people.
Function and powers
The actual functions and powers of the President, as distinct from the premiership, are not particularly onerous. §26 of the Constitution requires the President to recommend to the Sovereign the appointment of Executive Councillors, and which of the councillors are to be made Ministers of State. §27 empowers the President to prescribe all offices to be held by any councillor. Finally, §28 requires the President to conduct the business of the Council. However, in order to better administer these powers, and the other functions of the premiership, §27 allows for the the chairmanship of the Council to be held by the Vice-President of the Executive Council, an office that is typically held by the Deputy Prime Minister.
List of Presidents of the Executive Council
|#||Name||Party affiliation||In Office||Duration|
(16 January 1919 – 19 March 2006)
|Democratic Party||– 6 March 1975|
(born 7 October 1932)
|Democratic Party||6 March 1975 – 27 July 1975||4 months and 22 days|
(16 November 1922 – 19 May 2011)
|National Party||27 July 1975 – 13 April 1980||4 years, 8 months and 18 days|
(born 27 May 1928)
|Democratic Party||20 April 1980 – 11 March 1984||3 years, 10 months and 21 days|
(22 March 1924 – 3 August 1984)
|National Party||11 March 1984 – 3 August 1984||4 months and 24 days|
(born 13 June 1945)
|Christian Democratic Party||3 August 1984 – 20 August 1984||18 days|
(born 26 March 1943)
|National Party||20 August 1984 – 20 November 1986|
(born 27 May 1938)
|Democratic Party||20 November 1986 – 16 March 1992|
(born 31 July 1940)
|National Party||16 March 1992 – 13 March 2000||7 years, 11 months and 27 days|
(born 6 September 1951)
|Democratic Party||13 March 2000 – 15 March 2004||4 years and 3 days|
(born 1 December 1947)
|National Party||15 March 2004 – 13 March 2012||7 years, 11 months and 27 days|
(born 4 June 1961)
|Democratic Party||13 March 2012 – Present||Incumbent|
References and notes
- The salary of the President of the Executive Council is derived from his position as a member of Parliament and as a holder of a ministerial office. As of the opening of the 56th Parliament, all Senators and MHAs receive a salary of £1,170, plus a £47 per sitting day. In addition, the President of the Executive Council receives an additional salary of £6,734.
- Pryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S. et al., eds. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 145. ISBN 9780521563505.
- "Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act". Office of Parliamentary Counsel. http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2004C00469. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
- "Government of Ireland Act, 1920". The National Archives. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1920/67/pdfs/ukpga_19200067_en.pdf. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
- "Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Eireann) Act, 1922". Office of the Attorney General. 1922. http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1922/en/act/pub/0001/print.html. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
- Constitution of New Ingerland (1982). §§26–28