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6,000 invited to Swearing in Ceremony of Jamaica’s new Prime Minister

KINGSTON – Arrangements have been put in place to accommodate some 6,000 persons, who have been invited to the historic inauguration ceremony for Jamaica’s first female Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller.

The ceremony will be held on the lawns of King’s House on Thursday, March 30.

An impressive list of international dignitaries, including a number of heads of government from the region, has already confirmed their attendance at the historic inauguration ceremony.

Heads of governments, who have already confirmed their attendance are: Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves; Prime Minister of Barbados, Owen Arthur; Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning; and Chief Minister of Turks and Caicos Islands, Michael Misick.

In addition to the regional and international heads of government, also expected for the ceremony are: Secretary General of CARICOM, Edwin Carrington; a delegation from Antigua & Barbuda headed by the Minister of Labour; delegations representing the government and opposition from the Bahamas, as well as representatives from Bermuda.

A 14-member congressional team from the United States Congress, led by Congressman Charles Rangle is also expected to attend the historic ceremony

But, even while organizers have catered for 6,000 persons, there will be contingencies in place to accommodate a further 4,000 persons if the need arises, said chairman of the Inauguration Committee, Commerce, Science and Technology Minister, Phillip Paulwell.

Mr. Paulwell, who was addressing journalists at a special press conference held at Jamaica House this morning (March 28), said that there have been overwhelming requests for invitation to the function.

“We were only able to fill 6,000 of those requests and so we do anticipate that there will be some persons, who will come without invitation,” he said, adding that those who would be unable to attend could view the ceremony on television as well as via web cast on the Jamaica Information Service’s at website www.jis.gov.jm.
The ceremony, which is expected to begin at 5:00 p.m. sharp and end before sunset, will include the taking of the oath of office by Mrs. Simpson Miller followed by the lowering of the standard of outgoing Prime Minister, P. J. Patterson, and the raising of the standard of the new Prime Minister.

This will be followed by brief statements from Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall, Prime Minister Patterson and then the new Prime Minister will address the nation. There will also be the symbolic exchange of the Prime Minister’s motorcar in which Portia Simpson Miller will be transported around King’s House.

A brief musical program, with performances from the Jamaica Military Band as well as a combined choir featuring the University Singers and the Kencot Youth Choir, with soloist Shirley Lewis and saxophonist Dean Fraser, will also take place.
The evening’s proceedings will culminate with a reception in honor of the new Prime Minister, on the grounds of King’s House.

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