St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Matters related to parliaments in the region and how they operate are expected to be under the microscope during the regional Commonwealth parliamentary Association Conference in Basseterre from June 16 to 23.
These discussions will be held in keeping with the theme “Enhancing Democracy Through the Use of the Parliamentary System and the Media”.
Speaker Michael Perkins is the conference Chairman – he expects it to be a busy session for conference participants.
“The main part of the conference begins on Monday where we’ll have an opening ceremony, we’ll have what we call plenary sessions where we’ll meet as parliamentarians and discuss a number of matter relating to the functioning of parliament. There’s going to be an annual general meeting where we’ll elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman and Secretary Treasurer. Part of the conference will be a youth parliament which will be held later in the week. I can say there are about thirteen presiding officers or Speakers already registered, almost two thirds of the total number. In addition to the Speakers there are over 90 delegates who will be attending and these are made up of elected parliamentarians and also clerks of the various parliament.”
Speaker Perkins is of the view that people need to understand the workings of parliament.
He considers providing that level of understanding part of his role as the presiding officer in the National Assembly of St Kitts and Nevis.
“The work of parliament and parliamentarians is doing the work of the people, that’s one of the reasons why I do this and I would continue to do it. Parliament had too much secrecy and too much mystery which attended it and I don’t like that. Parliament and parliamentarians we are working on behalf of people, the common man on the street, all levels of society and people need to understand the workings of parliament.”