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Parliament convenes on Sept 23

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The ceremonial opening of the first session of the 11th Parliament takes place next Wednesday at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.

This was confirmed in a release issued by the Parliament yesterday.

President Anthony Carmona will address both the House of Representatives and the Senate during the ceremony.

It will be the first sitting under the new People’s National Movement (PNM) Government led by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. Before Carmona’s address there is to be the election of a Speaker of the House of Representatives. Former attorney general Bridgid Annisette-George is expected to be given that job.

In the Senate former Minister of Legal Affairs, Christine Kangaloo, an attorney-at-law, is expected to be elected as Senate President. New MP for Moruga/Tableland Dr Francis Lovell is expected to be elected as Deputy Speaker. The T&T Guardian understands that he was not the first choice of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley for the job.

Before the respective elections take place, Carmona will also inspect a Guard of Honour assembled outside the Parliament on Wrightson Road.

According to Parliament, a ceremonial opening of Parliament following a general election is one of the grandest affairs and this will be the first ceremonial opening to take place at the Waterfront after the move from the Red House in 2011.

Among the invited guests are Chief Justice Ivor Archie, judges of the Supreme Court, diplomats, and students from schools who are preparing to participate in the 13th National Youth Parliament later this year. There will be increased security inside and outside the Parliament during the event.

Tents are to be placed at the Waterfront for the overflow of specially invited guests as well as for the convenience of members of the general public, who may observe the inspection of the Guard of Honour by Carmona.

A large screen is to be placed outside the Parliament. The sitting is set to begin at 1.30 pm. 

Following the September 7 general election the PNM won 23 seats and the People’s Partnership won 18, to form the Opposition. Kamla Persad-Bissessar is expected to be elected as Opposition Leader. 

After a brief sitting both Houses are expected to adjourn. The House of Representatives is expected to meet again on September 28, when Finance Minister Colm Imbert will present the 2016 national budget.


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