New parliamentary year opens Sept. 12, meeting held with stakeholders | THE DAILY HERALD

Secretary General of Parliament Garrick Richardson during the meeting.

PHILIPSBURG–The 2023-2024 parliamentary year will open on September 12.

In preparation for the opening, Secretary General of Parliament Garrick Richardson convened a meeting with stakeholders from the relevant government departments and uniformed organisations on Wednesday, August 23.

Stakeholders included the Cabinet of the Governor, the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, Marine Corps, Sint Maarten Police Force, Volunteer Corps Sint Maarten, Fire Department, Coast Guard, Royal Marechaussee, Sint Maarten Youth Brigade, Point Blanche Prison, Department of Communications DCOMM, and the Department of Infrastructure of the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI.

In accordance with the Constitution, every year, on the second Tuesday of September, the president of Parliament opens the parliamentary year in a Solemn Public Meeting of Parliament.

The meeting is preceded by the lining up of the guard of honour comprising the Marine Corps, the Royal Marechaussee, the Police Force and the Volunteer Corps in front of the Parliament Building on Wilhelminastraat. Upon the official start of the ceremonial meeting, Governor Ajamu Baly, accompanied by his wife, his aide-de-camp and the chief of police, will leave his Cabinet on Falcon Drive and make his way to Wilhelminastraat.

Upon Baly’s arrival, the “Wilhelmus” and the “Sint Maarten song” will be played, and he will then be met by the parade commander, who will invite him to inspect the honour guard. After that, Baly and his entourage will be welcomed by the Reception and Departure Committee of Parliament and accompanied upstairs into the Parliament Building.

Once seated, the president of Parliament will welcome the governor and his entourage and invite Baly to deliver the Governor’s Speech to Members of Parliament, other dignitaries and special guests. The president of Parliament will then officially declare the

parliamentary year 2023-2024 open. The Governor’s Speech will be an explanation of the policies to be carried out by government for the upcoming year.

The governor and his entourage, MPs and all other dignitaries and special guests will then proceed to Front Street to view the military parade, which will conclude the military ceremony.

This year, as has been done in the past, pupils from Oranje School, Sr. Borgia School and St. Joseph School have been invited to view the military parade and therefore participate in what Parliament says is an important constitutional event.

An invitation has also been sent to secondary schools, specifically social studies classes, to view the Opening of the Parliamentary Year 2023-2024 ceremony online to increase students’ awareness of the country’s Constitution and parliamentary procedures.

Source: The Daily Herald