Categorized | National News


The firings of three Free National Movement  members of parliament  was in keeping with parliamentary rules. This  was expressed by a  Attorney General, Carl Bethel before kicking off debate on the 2018/2019 budget in the Senate yesterday.

Two parliamentary secretaries and a board chairman being stripped of their duties after voting against the government’s decision to up value added tax, was a move Senator Bethel  said aligns with his party’s track record of sternness, adherence to the rules and reconciliation.

Amid the furor  in some circles about the course of action taken, Mr. Bethel sought to make it quite clear that as a Member of Parliament, one has the alienable right to speak freely; but, on a matter of confidence – as the case in the vote on an increase in value added tax – that MP must tow the line and vote with the governing party on the matter. 

“These are not Bahamian rules, these are the rules that are intrinsic to the parliamentary system of government, Bethel said.

“This is what makes the parliamentary system of government, quite frankly, far more efficient as a system of governance than the biggest competitor around, which is the congressional system.”

Now while the argument has  been made that The Bahamas change its system, the Attorney General  explained that the Westminster system of government is a lousy one, but it’s the best yet devised. 

“First of all, the congressional system is a very expensive system to operate, secondly, a congressional system is very inefficient.

“If the house decides they don’t like the senate or none like the president, nobody does anything. 

“We saw this for eight years with President Obama, where the system was able to be used to totally frustrate the work of people, by persons in this congressional system.

“Is that what Bahamians would wish?

“Well, the only other alternative is some form of a dictatorial system, and none of us would like that,” said Senator Bethel.

The Attorney General  expressed  optimism that things will settle down and that in time, peace and harmony will be restored within the governing party at all levels. 

“It is to be hoped, as I have said, that The Free National Movement will continue in its tradition of reconciliation and forward progress.

“I am happy to note, and to have heard, that [Pineridge] Member of Parliament McAlpine, [has] a commitment to the party. We have our differences, but he expressed a commitment to the party. 

“Because at the end of the day, why do we run or seek to hold office in a government unless we have a basic level of commitment.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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