**H.E. Arthur D. Hanna

Following the National Elections on May 2, and the appointment of a new Government, a new Parliamentary Session opened today, with the first sitting of the House of Assembly Elected were:

**Speaker of the House of Assembly**: Hon. Alvin Smith, M.P.

**Deputy Speaker**: Hon. Kwasi Thompson, M.P.

**Leader of Government Business**: Hon. Tommy Turnquest

**Government Whip & Deputy Whip**: Parliamentary Secretary Brensil Rolle and Hon. Verna Grant, M.P.

The Hon. Dr. Bernard Nottage, M.P. is **Leader of Opposition Business** in the House.

In the **Senate**, Sen. Lynn Holowesko was elected as **President**, with Sen. Johnley Ferguson elected as **Vice President**. **Leader of Government Business** is Sen. the Hon. Dion Foulkes, while **Leader of the Opposition** in the Senate is former Attorney General, Sen. Allyson Maynard-Gibson.

**Speech from The Throne**

As part of the ceremonies for the Opening of Parliament, H.E. Arthur D. Hanna, Governor-General, read the Speech from the Throne. Some highlights of the action agenda proposed by the new Government were:

• Improvement of the quality of life of the Bahamian people, with focused attention on health, education, youth development, housing, and protection of the environment

• A legislative agenda that will include the establishment of a Code of Ethics for Ministers (along with the creation of an office of Ombudsman); a Freedom of Information Act; a National Investment Act; an Omnibus Business Licence Act; an amendment of the Immigration Act; an amendment of the Defence Act; a review of the provisions of the International Persons Landholding Act; and simplification of the Government Loan Guarantee Programme in support of small and medium-sized businesses

• Implementation of both short and long-term measures to address the incidence of crime in the society, providing urgent attention to public safety in all its aspects

• Encouragement and facilitation of investment as a matter of priority

• Review of the National Investment Policy of The Bahamas

• The articulation and implementation of a medium to long term immigration policy.

• Commitment to electronic Government services

• The adoption of a “Balanced Budget” fiscal policy

As tourism and financial services are expected to continue to dominate the economy, the Speech from the Throne pledged that these two areas will receive “focused attention.”

The Government expects to present its 2007/2008 budget communication in the House of Assembly next week.