Appointment and dismissal of portfolio holders
Portfolio holders are appointed by the municipal council. They are appointed for 4 years. Their term coincides with that of the municipal council.
After municipal council elections, the elected council members negotiate how many members each party will have on the executive. They also decide who will be responsible for each policy portfolio.
The parties present the names of their candidates to the chair of the municipal council. Members of the executive may belong to a political party, but this is not a requirement. The municipal council votes on the nominations and duly appoints the successful candidates.
Separation of the municipal council and the municipal executive
Members of the executive may not be members of the municipal council. This separation of powers enables the council to carry out its important task of holding the executive to account. More information on the separation of the council from the executive, known as ‘dualism’, can be found in the Municipal Authorities (Separation of Powers) Act.
Resignation and dismissal
Members of the executive are accountable to the municipal council for their decisions. Portfolio holders are sometimes made to resign if the council thinks they are not doing their work properly. They may also have to resign if their party loses so many seats in an election that it is no longer represented in the executive. In that case, they will resign once the new executive has been appointed.
Former members of the executive are entitled to a benefit under the General Pensions (Holders of Political Office) Act, regardless of the reason for their resignation.