Categorized | National News

House Speaker Rejects Opposition’s Request

The opposition had hoped to have an open and frank discussion on Hurricane Dorian in the House of Assembly yesterday, however that did not happen, as House Speaker Halson Moultrie rejected the request.

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Davis, outlined in a letter, prior to House of Assembly resuming yesterday after its summer break, that discussions would center on the planning, management and execution of all phases of the operations surrounding Hurricane Dorian, including contingencies and post hurricane relief efforts to those affected to date.

However, the PLP leader’s letter was put to a vote and the opposition did not receive the numbers needed to have their request granted.

To this, PLP Chairman Senator Fred Mitchell said that it was “a back handed slap to democracy and freedom of speech”.

During the House of Assembly’s session yesterday, not only did the house speaker strike out paragraphs six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11 and 13 from the opposition’s letter as merely the party’s opinion, he added that the referred Rule 51, in Mr. Davis’ letter, limits the time of debate to 90 minutes and with seven members of parliament impacted by the storm, along with the prime minister and the opposition leader, it would be insufficient.

With such a time frame, Mr. Moultrie reasoned that it would severely limit the participation of those members and other MPs who became involved in the relief and recovery efforts post Hurricane Dorian.

Mr. Moultrie also reasoned that it would severely limit the time for those parliamentarians to fully ventilate matters relating to the issues.

The PLP, in a statement, suggested that “the house speaker and  not surprisingly the government members of the house rejected a proposal for an open and frank discussion on issues surrounding and related to the recent passage of Hurricane Dorian” as they are embarrassed.

“What a joke the speaker has become. Just days ago, the speaker was boasting about 290 years of parliamentary democracy, but when given the opportunity to defend democratic principles, he dropped the ball,” Mr. Mitchell said.

“The African ancestors are ashamed of him. The house speaker should be ashamed of himself.

“The decision by the house speaker to strike paragraphs six, seven, eight, nine,10,11 and 13 from the  letter or communique written to him by the opposition leader and member for Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador is quite frankly laughable.

“His reasoning is wrong.”

Mr. Mitchell contends that those paragraphs the speaker sought to strike out, expressed concerns of residents affected and not opinions.

“The concerns expressed are not the opinions of the opposition, but experiences and observations from persons ‘on the ground’ in the affected areas on Grand Bahama,  Abaco and the surrounding Cays,” Mr. Mitchell said.

Mr. Mitchell further contended that “the fact is that the FNM members do not want to talk about Dorian because they are embarrassed about how poorly the government has managed and handled this process to date”.

“The human interest stories in both the local and international media attest to this,” Mr. Mitchell added.

“The PLP will continue to speak out for all affected Bahamians and offer alternative solutions while we continue to hold the government’s feet to the fire.” 

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook