WITH the next election in Gibraltar due no later than April 2020 (and likely to be earlier), a bill has been passed to increase the number of elected members of the House from 17 to 25 on a trial basis.
Currently the combined Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party and the Gibraltar Liberal Party govern in coalition and hold 10 of the seats with each member of Government being a minister.
This increase follows a recommendation made by the Select Committee on Parliamentary Reform to the Gibraltar Parliament and has been discussed over the last 10 years as a sensible option in order to bring Gibraltar in line with similar Parliaments such as Bermuda, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man where there are more sitting MPs than ministers.
This is very much in accord with the tradition embraced by the Commonwealth of Nations and would also bring Gibraltar in line with smaller European States such as Liechtenstein and San Marino.
Looking ahead to a possible no deal Brexit, the electorate of Gibraltar which voted staunchly in favour of remaining with the European Union will have the opportunity to express via the ballot box whether it believes that the current governing party acted responsibly during the run up to Brexit.
Alternatively it may wish to see a change of leadership back to the Gibraltar Social Democrats or will seek another option now that a fourth political party Together Gibraltar, led by the Marlene Hassan-Nahon (daughter of the first Chief Minister Sir Joshua Hassan) has been formed.