It has been officially notified that there will be no formal Opening Ceremony in September for the Montserrat Legislative Assembly (MLA) Parliamentary Year 2019-2020.
According to the Speaker of the MLA, the Hon Shirley Osborne; "Normally, Parliament sits and conducts its activities within the established parliamentary year, opening in September and closing for prorogation in July, independent of events occurring outside of the parliament except when these are truly extraordinary events or national emergencies.
However, in accordance with the Montserrat Constitution Order of 2010, the 16th Parliament of the Montserrat House of Assembly will dissolve on October 8th, 2019 i.e. five years after the first sitting of the MLA after the last general elections were held in 2014, unless it is dissolved earlier by the Governor acting on the advice of the Premier. This means that there remains, at most, another two weeks in the life of this 16th Montserrat Legislature, the first having been seated sixty-seven years ago, in 1952.
Parliament also meets, by custom, on the 4th Tuesday of every month, by which calculation the Opening Ceremony would have been held tomorrow September 24th but that is not to be.
Says Speaker Osborne on the matter; "The general thinking is that this short period between opening on September 24th and dissolution by October 8th, at the very latest, is an event extraordinary enough to warrant the postponement of the ceremony this year. Citizens will note that these timelines will also result in a shortening of the official parliamentary year, 2019-2020.
"The last sitting of the 16th Legislature has, therefore, already been held. The next time the MLA sits, it will be after the next general elections and it will be to effect the swearing in of new members of parliament and the installation of the 17th Montserrat Legislature."