New parliamentary session begins September 12

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo/Jeff K Mayers

THE new parliamentary session will begin on September 12. Acting President Christine Kangaloo made the announcement in Legal Notices 168 and 169, which were issued on Tuesday.

In Legal Notice 168, Kangaloo said the President is empowered under Section 68 (1) of the Constitution, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, at any time to prorogue or dissolve Parliament.

She declared it prorogued at midnight on September 9, 2022.

In Legal Notice 169, Kangaloo issued a proclamation that the new session of the current Parliament will begin on September 12 at 1.30 pm.

The first session of any new term always involves simultaneous sittings of the House of Representatives and Senate on the same day.

Kangaloo also said allowance will be made for any MP or senator to attend the session virtually if necessary, once the Speaker of the House or the Senate President has granted permission, owing to the ongoing covid19 pandemic.

Parliament officials said the opening of the new session next month will be a ceremonial one.

This type of event features an address by the President to a joint sitting of members of the House and Senate and a ceremonial military parade outside the Red House.

The Parliament’s first priority early in the new session will be the 2022/2023 budget.

In July, the Prime Minister hinted that Finance Minister Colm Imbert could present the budget earlier than usual when the new parliamentary session begins.

For the last six years, Imbert has presented the budget in the first week in October. By law, it must be debated in both the House and the Senate before October 31, when the new financial year begins.

The House’s Standing Finance Committee deliberates on the budget before the Senate debate begins.