St. Kitts and Nevis National Parliament opens with “Pomp and Splendor”
Guard of Honor
ZIZ News…March 10, 2010 – The opening of the National Parliament was a scene of much pomp and pageantry as the members of both sides of the house, well wishers and members of the public gathered at the front of Government Headquarters to partake in the ceremony prior to entering the National Assembly.
A huge crowd of supporters gathered to welcome the new and returning parliamentarians.
It all began wit the arrival of the prime minister who inspected a Guard of Honor made up of the members of the Royal St. Christopher Nevis Police Force and the St. Kitts Nevis Defence Force.
The first order of the day was the election of the speaker of the House in the person of the Hon. Curtis Martin who is serving his second stint as speaker of the House and the election of the Deputy Speaker in the person of the Hon. Senator Richard Skerritt.
The business of electing the Deputy Speaker was not as smooth as the election of the Speaker of the House.
Guard of Honor
The new Senator for the Opposition benches Hon. Vincent Byron Jr. was nominated by both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister for the post of Deputy Speaker but declined the nomination on the grounds of conscience. The Government side of the National Assembly then nominated Senator the Hon. Richard Skerritt to the post of Deputy Speaker which he accepted after stepping down as a member of cabinet of the Labour Party government.
Upon the nomination of Senator Skerritt as Deputy Speaker, the Speaker of the House Hon. Curtis Martin interjected by asking the procedure that was used to elect Senator Skerritt as he was a member of the cabinet of the government. It was then explained that Senator Skerritt had stepped down as a minister in the cabinet.
After the oath of allegiance taken by all of the parliamentarians the National Assembly was suspended to witness the arrival of the Governor General His Excellency the Governor General Dr. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian. A Guard of Honor was drawn up outside Government Headquarters.
The National Parliament then resumed and the throne speech was delivered by His Excellency Dr. Sir. Cuthbert Sebastian.
Government and Opposition Parliamentarians
PM and Attorney General
Opposition Leader Mark Brantley
PM Douglas and Min. Liburd