PM called dictatorial after PLP House walkout
Since the opposition decision to walk out of the House of Assembly Thursday night, some public accusations have been made accusing Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham of dictatorial arrogance and others have been made accusing the opposition of being unfit to govern.
Progressive Liberal Party(PLP)MPs walked out of the House at the end of the mid-year budget debate after a dispute regarding whether or not members of the opposition would speak.
Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP Philip Brave Davis was attempting to speak, and the governing side wanted Montagu MP Loretta Butler-Turner to speak, when the dispute arose.
Butler-Turner yielded for the prime minister when he rose to speak instead. However, Davis did not yield.
The governing side forced cloture on the debate and an argument ensued between Ingraham and Davis, who is also PLP deputy leader.
“I thank my colleagues who walked out of Parliament in defense of Loretta Butler-Turner and I, and our constituents and against another display of dictatorial arrogance by the prime minister,”said Davis in a statement released yesterday.
The Free National Movement(FNM)said in its statement on the matter that the PLP MPs acted inappropriately when they left the chamber.
“With their usual sense of entitlement, and unable to get their own way, the PLP continues to pull stunts rather than act like a responsible official opposition,”said the governing party.
“Hot on the heels of their rowdy and unruly demonstration downtown to try and prevent the creation of a new partnership to transform[the Bahamas Telecommunications Company], the PLP last evening(Thursday)walked out of the House of Assembly and on(its)democratic responsibilities.”
The FNM argued that the PLP’s decision to walk out of the House demonstrated disrespect towards Parliament.
“Stunned by their failure to convince Bahamians on the matter of BTC, and on the defense because of how much the FNM has achieved in four years, the opposition is unable to take the heat in the House,”said the FNM.”So, instead of doing the people’s business, they have placed their own political needs above that of the nation.”
The FNM argued that the PLP has again demonstrated that it is unfit to govern.
Davis viewed the walkout as necessary based on the actions of the prime minister.
“Last night(Thursday)as the Hon. Loretta Butler-Turner and I rose to make our contributions to the debate on the mid-year budget the prime minister rudely, abruptly and prematurely ended the debate. He denied a voice in the Parliament to the people of Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador and the people of Montagu who in majority supported his party in 2007,”said Davis.
“The Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Hon. Alvin Smith, who is responsible for ensuring fairness and balance in the House of Assembly failed to judiciously intervene on behalf of the thousands of Bahamians whose voices were silenced by the bullying of the prime minister.”
Davis emphasized that there are limits in Parliament to the power of the prime minister.
“We are all equal in the House of Assembly. You are not the House of Assembly. You are not the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,”said Davis, blaming Ingraham for shutting down the debate.
“The prime minister and the Speaker owe the people of Montagu and Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador an apology. They both showed no regard or respect for them as citizens of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”