Categorized | Featured, National News

Parliament Opened


The House of Assembly has a whole new look and a whole feel today after the new landscape for the lower chamber was officially introduced.

The new 38 Members of Parliament took their seats in Parliament Wednesday during the Opening of Parliament.

Police officers, the spouses of the parliamentarians, members of the media and party supporters all filled the gallery in the House of Assembly to witness the MPs take their oaths of allegiance and qualification.

Prime Minister Perry Christie and 19 of his newly elected Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) MPs filled the government side in the lower chamber while the remaining nine stretched across the back bench on the Opposition side.

Former prime minister and North Abaco MP Hubert Ingraham and the eight other Free National Movement (FNM) MPs sat on the front bench of the Opposition side.

New House Speaker and Garden Hills MP Dr. Kendal Major was also elected and sworn into the post.

“I am grateful for the confidence you have entrusted in me,” he said. “I will make it imperative that we strictly observe the rules and establish civility and structure. Let there be order in this honourable House. We will respect the dignity of this place.”

Debates in the House of Assembly are known to get out of control as members of both sides passionately argued their points.

But Dr. Major said under his watch that will not happen this time around.

“We are admonished to debate respectfully, factually and thoughtfully,” he added. “I will be fair but fearless. While the government might have the majority of people, the Opposition will also have the opportunity to have their voices heard.”

Dr. Major is the ninth speaker of the House of Assembly since Majority Rule and has previously served as the vice chairman of the PLP from 2008 to 2010.

Also elected and sworn in was Nassau Village MP Dion Smith, who is the new deputy speaker in the House of Assembly.

“Thank you to the people of Nassau Village, if it were not for you I would not be here,” Mr. Smith said. “It is because of you I am able to serve in this position that few Bahamians have served.”

Together Major and Smith are two youngest Bahamians to serve as speaker and deputy speaker.

The House of Assembly resumes on May 30.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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