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Contact: Julita Peter


Tuesday, May 19, 2009 – The 11th Annual Youth Parliament will set off on Wednesday May 20th at the Saint Lucia House of Assembly in Castries. Organized by the Department of Youth and Sports, the event is a mock parliament, which gives young people the opportunity to express themselves on topical issues directly impacting their lives.


Youth and Sports Officer Patrick Mathurin said the intention is also to ensure that participants are sufficiently sensitized to parliamentary procedures.


“The clerk of Parliament is on board. He brought them into the House of Assembly, indicating to them what some of the Standing Orders are.  He also indicated to them the difference between a bill and a resolution. What we intend to do is to take them again through the process where you come with a particular topic, take that topic through its logical end in terms of how you best frame  a bill or a resolution,” Mr. Mathurin said.


The sitting of the Upper House, the Senate, is being introduced for the first time this year, and is expected to be a permanent component of Youth Parliament—all part of efforts geared at improving the event. A mock joint sitting of the House of Assembly on one day had been administered in previous years; however, Mathurin said it was felt that Youth Parliament needed to reflect what really obtains in the House.


“So we have two days of Youth Parliament instead of one. On the first day the Lower House will meet in the House of Assembly with elected representatives, and debate on the bill. On the second day we would have the Senators doing their own level of debate,” he noted.


Youth Parliament will commence with a throne speech by the Youth Governor General, Marcellus Cazaubon, a teacher at the Soufriere Comprehensive School.  Youth Parliament will end on Thursday May 21st with the sitting of the Upper House.

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