Categorized | National News

Fitzgerald: It Was Nothing Personal

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Member of Parliament for Marathon Jerome Fitzgerald said despite engaging in a shouting match with Fort Charlotte MP Dr Andre Rollins Monday in the House of Assembly, there was nothing personal about that exchange and he noted that even in light of widespread criticisms about his parliamentary behaviour, Dr. Rollins has a bright future ahead of him.

Before heading into the weekly Cabinet meeting Tuesday, Mr. Fitzgerald told the Journal that calling out Dr. Rollins for having “new generation thinking” was in no way sinister.

“At no point in my contribution did I make a personal attack against any of the members,” he said. “The only thing I said is that they have their views and that I put out a good argument as to why I don’t support their views. Either you support equality or you don’t and that’s my view.

“This is a fundamental question on equality under the constitution.”

Debate on the controversial package of bills to amend the country’s constitution over the past few weeks have riled up a number of MPs to boldly voice their concerns with proposals made to bring about gender equality and discrimination based on sex.

The PLP backbench, particularly Dr. Rollins, Bamboo Town MP Renward Wells and Marco City MP Greg Moss, have been very vocal in asking their party to reconsider certain amendments.

And on Monday, Mr. Fitzgerald said the MPs should decide if they are for or against gender equality and likened the situation to being “half pregnant.”

He questioned that new thinking and noted that it would be difficult for any member who opposes these bills to offer themselves again to the electorate moving forward.

Comments he said he stands by.

“I think this is healthy democracy,” Mr. Fitzgerald added. “These are bright, intelligent young men and we are in debate. When you put your position in a debate in parliament that’s where you go and debate it.

“I thought it unfortunate that Fort Charlotte took it as a personal attack because I never said anything derogatory about him or his character.”

Having bumped heads with so many of his own party members, Dr. Rollins resigned as party whip and Mr. Fitzgerald said he made the right move.

“No only so much because he did not support the bills but I think when you are the party whip in the government you are responsible for holding the caucus together,” he added. “The whip is really the one unifying person on the government side.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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