BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — In keeping with the social and physical distancing and mask wearing-protocols outlined in the COVID-19 Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act, several adjustments have been made to the National Assembly Chambers in St. Kitts. Parliamentarians and visitors will see the changes at the second sitting of Parliament slated for Aug. 13.
“Some adjustments to the spatial layout have been directed by the Honourable Speaker [Michael Perkins]. This will result in a smaller gallery being available as we observe social distancing. Visitors to Parliament must wear their masks,” said Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, during his inaugural monthly press conference on Aug. 11. He referenced the construction of a new Parliament building. “The Honourable Speaker has been asked to coordinate efforts for the building of a home for Parliament outside of Government Headquarters.”
Prime Minister Harris used the occasion to update the general public on the Bills to be debated on Aug. 13.
“Two of the Bills will address our international obligations under the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF). Specifically, these two (2) bills will aim to prevent and suppress the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to make minor amendments to a number of laws including amendments to several acts such as the Customs Act, Police Act, FSRC Act and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act,” said Dr. Harris. “The Bill to limit the Tenure of the Office of Prime Minister will be presented for a first reading and the National Assembly Elections (Amendment) Bill will provide for the length of stay that would qualify various persons to vote in our Federation.”
The historic Sitting of Parliament since the Government of National Unity’s June 5 victory at the polls occurred on Wednesday, July 8, at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort. Elected members were sworn in as Members of the National Assembly, and the Speaker and Deputy Speaker were also elected.