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Government of Wales Act 2006

Ministers, staff, etc

Section 47: Choice of the First Minister

223.While section 46 provides for the First Minister to be appointed by Her Majesty, the person appointed will have been chosen in accordance with this section, which provides for the Assembly to nominate one of its members for appointment as First Minister and for the Presiding Officer to recommend the appointment of that person to Her Majesty.

224.Nomination of an Assembly member for appointment as First Minister is triggered by one of the events mentioned in subsection (2). These are:

a)

the holding of a poll at a general election;

b)

the Assembly resolving that the Welsh Ministers no longer enjoy the confidence of the Assembly;

c)

the First Minister tendering resignation to Her Majesty;

d)

the First Minister dying or becoming permanently unable to act or to tender resignation;

e)

the First Minister ceasing to be a member of the Assembly, other than on a dissolution (e.g. by resigning from the Assembly).

225.Once one of these events occurs, the Assembly must nominate a First Minister before the end of the period of 28 days after the occurrence of the event in question. If another such event occurs (for example if the holding of a poll at a general election were to take place within 28 days of a First Minister having tendered resignation) the period is extended to the end of the period of 28 days after that second event. If the Assembly, within the 28 day period, resolves under section 5(2) that it should be dissolved, then the 28 day period ceases and a further 28 day period for nomination of a First Minister will begin when the poll for the consequent extraordinary general election is held.

226.If the Assembly fails to make a nomination within the period allowed, then the Secretary of State is required by section 5 to propose a day for the holding of an extraordinary general election.

227.Where the Assembly resolves that the Welsh Ministers no longer enjoy the confidence of the Assembly, sections 48 and 50 provide that all Welsh Ministers and Deputy Welsh Ministers resign with immediate effect. The First Minister remains in office with all the functions of that office and of the Welsh Ministers generally, until the Assembly nominates a First Minister (or re-nominates the same person as First Minister). The First Minister could therefore, during that period, appoint Ministers if this were necessary for the efficient and effective administration of government, for example in case of emergencies.

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