by Linda Straker
As of 6 October 2017, the 5th Session of the 9th Parliament concluded and plans are now in the making for re-opening of the 6th Session which will take the form of a ceremonial opening of the Houses of Parliament. 26 bills were approved by both houses during the parliament year.
According to a notice from the Office of the Houses of Parliament, by a proclamation of the Governor General dated 3 October, the 5th session was prorogued with effect from Friday, 6 October. Constitutionally, Grenada is in an election year, and a general election must be held no later than mid- 2018. The Parliament can dissolve while in prorogation, but once a decision is made for a ceremonial reopening, it will be the 3rd time that there is a 6th Parliament session during any Parliamentary period since 1984.
The 1st would have been done by the then ruling National Democratic Congress on 15 December 1994 during the 4th Parliament, and the general election was held on 30 May 1995. The next time there was a 6th session, was during the reign of the New National Party, and it was held on 6 September 2002. This was followed by a 7th session on 7 September 2003 and the general election was called on 27 November 2003.
Both the ruling New National Party and the National Democratic Congress have each presented 15 caretakers – one to represent each constituency, as it is widely anticipated that a general election will be called at any time.
Records at the Parliamentary Elections Offices show that there are 16 active political organisations in Grenada. However, to date, only 2 parties have presented 15 candidates each. As of 30 June 2017, there were 73,491 registered voters. For an election date to be called by the Prime Minister, Parliament must be dissolved.