Ceremonial opening of Parliament February 14
Jamaica Defence Force soldiers at the ceremonial opening of Parliament in 2019. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

THE 2023/2024 Parliamentary Year will begin next Tuesday, February 14, with the traditional ceremonial opening at Gordon House.

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen will deliver the Throne Speech, which will outline Government's legislative agenda for the upcoming parliamentary year.

Unlike the openings in 2021 and 2022, which were curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's opening will see a return to the full slate of invitees. In addition to parliamentarians and their guests, State officials, custodes, mayors and representatives of the diplomatic corps will be invited. This year's ceremony will also see the 'March to Gordon House' led by the prime minister and leader of the Opposition being done in the traditional manner.

"This year is significant as we seek to recapture the grandeur of the ceremony prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jamaicans are resilient and we believe in properly celebrating the significant milestones in the life of our nation. With our jubilee celebration still fresh in our minds, we should mark this ceremonial opening with the same gusto and pride we demonstrated when we celebrated our first ceremonial opening in April 1963, mere months after becoming an independent nation," said Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism and Leader of the House.

After the ceremony, the House of Representatives will reconvene at 2:00 pm for the tabling of the 2023/2024 Estimates of Expenditure.

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