President issues Proclamation for sitting of Twelfth Parliament

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The Arthur Chung Conference Centre will accommodate the parliamentary sittings due to COVID-19 regulations.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira, on Thursday, announced that President Dr. Irfaan Ali, in pursuance of the powers conferred upon him by Article 69 (1) of the Constitution of Guyana, has issued Proclamation Number 1 of 2020 declaring September 1, 2020 as the date for the sitting of the Twelfth Parliament.

President Ali, also in pursuance of Article 69 (1) of the Constitution, has designated the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at 5E Half Orchid Drive, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown as the place where a session of the Twelfth Parliament shall be held at 10:00 hours.

The Proclamation also states that this venue shall begin and remain as such until advice is received from the Minister of Health that the safety measures including social distancing, with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer necessary. Once this is done, sittings will be held in the Parliament Chamber, Public Building, Brickdam, Georgetown.

By Proclamation dated December 27, 2019 issued under Article 70 (2) of the Constitution, the Eleventh Parliament of Guyana was dissolved on December 30, 2019.

During an interview yesterday, the National Assembly Clerk said all arrangements have been made for the convening of the 12th Parliament.

He had told this publication that: “I am prepared. I have received the declaration from the Guyana Elections Commission, role calling, mailing lists and so on. I have prepared the register. I just met with the Army, the Police, the Ministry of Health discussing the convening of Parliament and subsequent sittings. [I have met] with Protocol Officers of the Office of the President, Foreign Affairs…”

Based on the results of the March 2 General and Regional Elections, the PPP/C will hold a majority in the National Assembly with 33 seats; the APNU/AFC Coalition have 31 seats, while the joinder parties –A New and United Guyana (ANUG), Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), and The New Movement (TNM) – will have one seat.

Once Parliament reconvenes, its Members will select a Speaker of the National Assembly. The last Speaker was Dr. Barton Scotland. High on the agenda will be the passage of the National Budget since the last one was passed in December 2018 in the tune of $267.1 billion.