21 Senators- The traditional ceremonial opening of Parliament has been scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the country’s business must go on. All 21 Senators (members of the Senate) have been sworn in for the new Parliamentary term.

The ceremony got underway early Tuesday morning (September 15) at the Jamaica Conference Centre, to facilitate social distancing. Thirteen government Senators and eight Opposition Senators took the oath of allegiance.

New faces on the Government’s block are Natalie Campbell Rodriguez, Sherene Golding Campbell, and Mayor Delroy Williams. While for the Opposition, Norman Horne, Janice Allen, and the youngest Senator to be appointed, Gabriella Morris.

The new slate of Senators includes 38 percent women, the largest percentage of women ever to be appointed in the Senate. Both the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader, during their election campaign committed to ensuring the involvement of more women in politics.

Meanwhile Senator Tom Tavares-Finson has been reappointed as President of the Senate, while Senator Charles Sinclair will serve as his Deputy. A moment of silence was observed for the late Janet Grant Woodam, a former President of the Senate and the first woman to have held the position.

In addition, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, retains her position as the Leader of Government Business in the Upper House, while Senator Donna Scott Mottley will serve as Leader of Opposition Business.

CVM LIVE‘s Robian Williams reports: