Four newly appointed Opposition senators designate received their instruments of appointment from the Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes during a brief ceremony at Government House yesterday.
Former Education Minister Desmond Bannister has been appointed leader of opposition business in the senate.
He will represent the opposition in the upper chamber along with former State Minister for Finance Zhivargo Laing; former Deputy House Speaker Kwasi Thompson and attorney Heather Hunt.
The four opposition senators all ran unsuccessfully in the recent general election.
Mr. Bannister, who has previously served as a member of the House of Assembly, said he looks forward to serving in his new role.
“Our role is to look at government policies and the promises that they made and to ensure that those promises become commitments of the government,” he said.
“You are going to see a mature level of debate in the Senate. You are going to see people who are going to be able to hold the government to whatever promises they make.”
Mr. Laing, who is also a former MP, thanked the leader of the opposition for the opportunity to continue to serve his country.
“I am happy and honoured to serve,” Mr. Laing said. “I don’t have a constituency now to focus on, but in a bigger sense it’s a larger constituency because it’s a more national focus.”
Mr. Laing, whose educational background was economics, said that he will be paying particular attention the government’s economic and fiscal policies.
Mr. Thompson and Mrs. Hunt said they are also looking forward to representing the opposition in the senate and both pledged to ensure that they hold the government’s feet to the fire.
“The Senate is not just a rubber stamp,” Mr. Thompson said. “This is very serious business and there is a lot of work that must be done.”
“I am honoured to be appointed and I pray that I do my best to serve the Bahamian people to the best of my ability,” Mrs. Hunt added.
The senators will be sworn in next Wednesday during the official opening of parliament.