Negotiating a vote of no confidence – Shad Saleem Faruqi

Source: The Star Online

BY SHAD SALEEM FARUQI

Shad Saleem Faruqi - file pic

Shad Saleem Faruqi – file pic

Despite the Westminster systems’ role in enforcing responsibility, there is also uncertainty surrounding it.

THE nation is abuzz with news that the Opposition in Parliament is readying itself to introduce a motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister.

The principle that the Prime Minister must maintain the confidence of the lower House is a central feature of the British style of parliamentary democracy that we inherited in 1957.

Article 43(4): Our Constitution does not explicitly refer to a motion of no confidence. However, it embraces the principle of answerability and accountability of the political executive to the legislature through Article 43(4), which provides that, “If the Prime Minister ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives, then, unless at his request the Yang di-Pertuan Agong dissolves Parliament, the Prime Minister shall tender the resignation of the Cabinet.”

How “confidence” can be lost and what amounts to “majority” are nowhere explicated. Read more