Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Post-Election Seminar in Grenada focuses on parliamentary democracy, Members’ skills development and gender equality 

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) helps to strengthen parliamentary practice and procedure with a CPA Post-Election Seminar for the recently elected Members of the Parliament of Grenada, held in St George’s from 9 to 10 January 2019. The CPA Post-Election Seminar gave Members of the House of Representatives, as well as Members of the Senate of Grenada, an excellent opportunity to develop their skills and gain a better understanding of the parliamentary system and democratic processes in other Commonwealth jurisdictions, particularly from the CPA Caribbean Region. Transparent, free and fair elections were held in Grenada on 13 March 2018 with a turnout of almost 74% to elect the new Members, which demonstrated the island’s commitment to the democratic ideals enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter.

The Parliament of Grenada is one of the smallest Legislatures in the CPA’s membership of over 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and it is located on a small island with a population of 107,000 people. The CPA is the only Commonwealth body that works to strengthen small Legislatures as well as working with larger national, state and provincial legislatures. 

At the opening of the CPA Post-Election Seminar, Rt Hon. Dr Keith Mitchell, MP, Prime Minister of Grenada highlighted that he first became a Parliamentarian in 1984 and encouraged the newly elected and appointed Parliamentarians to sharpen their skills. He said: “Our role and function as Parliamentarians is not one to be taken lightly. It is a noble calling to be able to serve our country at this level and it is important that we properly equip ourselves to do the best job possible. For those of us who are seasoned politicians, it is important that from time to time, we take advantage of opportunities to sharpen our skills and broaden our knowledge base. For our newly elected Parliamentarians, especially those with the advantage of youth, this seminar provides an invaluable opportunity to get better acquainted with parliamentary procedures and expectations. I must express my appreciation to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association for initiating this important Post-Election Seminar. It is almost a decade since Grenada would have benefitted from such an initiative. It is timely, it is fitting, and we are immensely grateful.” Please click here for the Grenada Prime Minister’s full speech.

Hon. Michael Pierre, MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Grenada and Hon. Chester A. A. Humphrey, President of the Senate, both gave opening remarks and chaired sessions throughout the two-day seminar. Hon. Chester A. A. Humphrey explained that despite only one political party being represented in the House of Representatives (or lower house), that there are many active voices within the Parliament through the Senate (upper house). He said: “Grenada provides a unique experiment in parliamentary democracy and this seminar provides Members with an opportunity to become more effective in promoting democratic principles and good governance. Members will become more confident and better able to discharge their parliamentary and constituency responsibilities.”  

Regional experts attended the seminar to share their knowledge and experience with Members of the Grenada Parliament. Senator Hon. Alincia Williams-Grant, President of the Senate of Antigua and Barbuda presented on the separation of powers between the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary and on the impact of parliamentary privilege on Members. Ms. Jacqui Sampson-Meiguel, Senior Clerk and CPA Branch Secretary at the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago demonstrated her extensive knowledge with contributions on the Parliamentary Committee system and parliamentary procedures. 

The Grenada House of Representatives also has one of the highest representations for women Members in the Commonwealth following the recent election (second in the Commonwealth at 46.7% women Members) and the CPA Post-Election Seminar session on ‘Women in Parliament’ generated a lively discussion amongst Members on gender equality. Mr Adrian Francis, Clerk of Parliament and CPA Branch Secretary for the Parliament of Grenada as well as local Members from the Grenada Parliament also contributed to the seminar sessions.

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mr Akbar Khan, who was represented by Mr Jarvis Matiya, CPA Director of Operations at the seminar in Grenada, said: “The CPA is pleased to partner with the Parliament of Grenada to support the strengthening of democratic governance in one of the smaller Parliaments of the Commonwealth. The CPA Post-Election Seminar has demonstrated the CPA’s commitment to our Small Branches and to the mutuality of learning among CPA Members. We must always seek opportunities to strengthen Parliament, nurture public trust in the institution and build the capacity of its Parliamentarians through programmes like the CPA Post-Election Seminars.” Please click here to read the CPA’s opening address.

Following a CPA Post-Election Seminar, Members of Parliament become more effective at promoting democratic principles and good governance as well as gaining an understanding of Commonwealth values and principles. Members of the Legislature are also more confident and better able to discharge their parliamentary and constituency responsibilities.

During the CPA Post-Election Seminar, the visiting CPA delegation and Resource Team also had the opportunity to visit the newly opened Parliament of Grenada to see the modern facilities and contemporary chamber.

For images of the CPA Grenada Post-Election Seminar please click here.

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Updated 14 January 2019.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance and the organisation was founded in 1911.
 
For further information about the CPA, please contact:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
CPA Headquarters Secretariat  
T: +44 (0)20 7799 1460
Email hq.sec@cpahq.org
For media enquiries, please contact communications@cpahq.org