House Speaker Dr. Kendal Major during his final speech in Parliament yesterday renewed his call for an independent Parliament.
In an effort to strengthen democracy nationally, Dr. Major urged the incoming government and the future Opposition, to adopt the concept of independence in Parliament.
“Despite incremental steps that were made there must be a desire to further strengthen up our institution. In fact, Parliament appointed a committee to investigate these matters. The committee reported, yet we remain fundamentally where we started,” Dr. Major said.
“Honourable members, despite being the third oldest in the British Parliament and British Commonwealth, this should be a matter of concern to all of us; especially since many of them have demonstrated a commitment to this ideal,” he said.
“The doctrine of separation of powers makes the independence of powers in Parliament a requirement. Without it, our claim to democratic status is at best a statement of intent,” the speaker continued.
Dr. Major is advocating for this issue to be amongst the first bills tabled in the upcoming term in Parliament.
He added that he is looking for fundamental changes to enhance a “critical plank in the quest to produce a fair and just society”.
In July 2016, Dr. Major made several recommendations for the enhancement of Bahamian Parliament as he addressed Rotarians of West Nassau.
The recommendations pitched included strengthening the institution by making Parliament independent from the executive branch of government, modernizing Parliament by making it control its own finances, and deepening democracy by engaging the public more in the parliamentary process.
At the time, he also expressed that parliamentarians should be held more accountable for their actions.
Meantime, Dr. Major thanked those who played an integral role in Parliament over the past five years; namely Prime Minister Perry Christie, Official Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis, Opposition Leader of the House of Assembly Loretta Butler Turner, Former United Democratic Party Leader Greg Moss, Leader of Government Business Dr. Bernard Nottage and Leader of Opposition Business, Neko Grant and House staff.