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Bahamas opening of Parliament scheduled for Wednesday

Monday, May 22, 2017

NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) – A new session of Parliament will begin on Wednesday, following the May 10 General Election in which the Free National Movement (FNM) held onto 35 of the 39 seats in the House of Assembly.

During official opening Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling will deliver the Throne Speech that will set the agenda for the government with respect to its legislative agenda, for which the cooperation of parliament is sought.

Several officials and dignitaries are expected to attend the ceremonies, which will be staged in full pomp and pageantry: a reflection of the Westminster system adopted by British Commonwealth member countries.

A joint colour guard and band comprising members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Guard of Honour, will add to the ceremonial fixtures and traditions. Meanwhile, on Sunday members of the FNM, led by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis attended a church service, giving thanks for the party's victory at the polls.

Minnis, in his remarks again took note of the mandate from the public.

“I am fully aware of the awesome mandate that has been handed to me and to my colleagues. There are serious challenges that lay ahead. But we are confident that, with God's help and with hard work, we shall overcome.”

The newly appointed prime minister urged his colleagues to remain grounded.

“We must avoid the temptation to become high and mighty and to cut ourselves of from the voice of the people. We must remain grounded and ever vigilante of our actions.”

“We must never forget that we serve as the people's government, and that means all the people. The spirit of democracy must be our constant companion and guiding light.Each day we must work to maintain the confidence and trust of the people who voted for a new day. Every decision we make must be with the intention of improving the lives of our people,” he said.

The FNM's election to power came amid widespread national concern over the state of the economy, the administration of public finances, the high rate of violent crime and the troubled education system.