Over to the PM
The ball is now in Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s court to set a date for the 2018 general election after the House of Assembly held its final sitting for the 2013 to 2018 session Friday evening.
It was around 5:30 p.m. when Leader of Government Business in the House, John Boyce, asked that the house be adjourned sine die.
This final sitting comes just four days ahead of the March 6 dissolution of the House of Assembly. Speaking shortly after seeking an adjournment of the House of Assembly, Boyce said it gives Barbadians an opportunity to make their various choices in the 30 constituencies from those who offer themselves for political service.
Not all the 30 members, who spent the last five years debating laws and Government policy, were in place at the conclusion of the 2013-2018 sitting.
The 12-member Opposition Barbados Labour Party – two less than when the parliamentary session began in 2013 – that had recently boycotted the House remained absent. During the five-year term two members of the BLP, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur and MP Dr Maria Agard left the party and sat as Independents before Agard, in the dying days of Parliament, became a member of the United Progressive Party.
Boyce, just before the House adjourned sine die thanked the members of his constituency, Christ Church South, for the opportunity to have served so far two terms, adding that he looked forward to their continued support as Barbadians go to the polls in a matter of weeks.
“I convey those sentiments on behalf of all members of this chamber who in the tradition may not have an opportunity to speak on this adjournment.
“I want to offer thanks to the Clerk of the House, Pedro Eastmond, and his team and those who manage the affairs of this Parliament. There are a lot of people who are not fully seized with the kind of work that goes on behind the scenes to make legislation operative and to put money at the disposal of the various ministries so that they could carry out the work of the country,” he said.
He also thanked those who provided security at Parliament.
In granting the adjournment, Speaker of the House of Assembly Michael Carrington thanked Eastmond and his support staff who were very critical in making the work of parliamentarians possible.
Carrington also thanked the people of St Michael West for making it possible for him to serve at that high level, and also the Members of Parliament who had reposed their confidence in him to occupy the office of Speaker of the House of Assembly.
Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the UPP, Christ West MP Agard thanked the people of the constituency and the people of Barbados for the very noble opportunity to serve them in Parliament.
She further stated that there was no exercise more noble than giving back to your people, adding that it was an honour to serve all Barbadians.
“I want to say on behalf of the UPP that the party has recognised that Barbados is in a technological era and that the old governance model that took Barbados to Independence and to the 21st century is not a model that would take us much further.
“We need a new model of governance. We need people who would embrace the technological advances that are at their disposal. We ask for that mandate.” (NC)