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Sep 4, 1998

Ceremonial opening of parliament set for next Saturday

The new session of parliament will convene in Belmopan next week, but if you thought it would be business as usual… think again. A release from the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly Jesus Ken, says that both the House and Senate will meet at nine o’clock on Saturday morning, September twelfth. But the proceedings will not be taking place within the confines of the assembly chambers as the venue has been shifted a couple hundred yards away to in front of the new administration building. It’s a departure from tradition and will mark the first time since the seat of government was moved to Belmopan in 1970 that a sitting of either the House or Senate will take place outside of the National Assembly building. According to Chief of Staff Godfrey Smith, given the limited space in the Assembly building, the decision to go open-air will give more people an opportunity to witness the workings of the two institutions. And since Saturday is not a workday, Smith says that too should make it easier for more people to attend than normally would on a Friday morning. It is expected that Governor General Sir Colville Young will deliver the traditional throne speech, in which he will be outlining the short and long term programs and plans of the new administration. Meanwhile, the newly appointed Speaker of the House Sylvia Flores and President of the Senate Beth Zabaneh will be travelling to Belmopan on Monday morning to meet with the Clerk of the National Assembly. The purpose of the closed-door meeting is to brief the two women on their respective duties.


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