House Speaker Halson Moultrie said yesterday that as far as he is concerned “all is forgiven” and he will live with the outcome of Wednesday’s vote of confidence motion against him and that he has been an impartial speaker and will continue to remain that way.
The House met yesterday and suspended after nine minutes.
The speaker informed members that Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin’s two sitting suspension was finished and that the remaining opposition MPs who were suspended will be eligible to return to the House on Wednesday.
Hanna-Martin chose not to attend yesterday’s sitting.
Before the House adjourned, the speaker said, “I wish to bring to the attention of this honorable House that the leader of the official opposition has written a letter to the clerk, the acting clerk of the Parliament, and has indicated an intention, pursuant to rule 52, to bring a motion when the House next convenes on Wednesday.”
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis wrote to Acting Chief Clerk David Forbes on Friday indicating that he intends to move a no confidence vote against the speaker.
Leader of Government Business and Bamboo Town MP Renward Wells stood to his feet and said, “Given the gravity of what the leader of the opposition intends to do on Wednesday, the government is obliged, along with this House, to see to it that all members are here on Wednesday and that, that motion is going to take precedence over the entire House agenda as per the House rules.
“So we thought it fitting that we would have this Parliament today. We have our meeting so that all members would have a right to be here on Wednesday so that we could get on with the business of this House.”
Last Wednesday, the speaker delivered a controversial communication in the House in relation to his decision to name and suspend Hanna-Martin.
In that speech, Moultrie lambasted Davis, PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell, and former House of Assembly Chief Clerk Maurice Tynes over a letter to the editor he released.
Following the adjournment yesterday, The Guardian asked the speaker if he took his communication too far.
“I prefer to allow the opposition to proceed based on what they would present to Parliament,” he said.
“Of course, I expect the government to proceed accordingly and we will see what the outcome is. In any event if I am returned I intend to continue to enforce the rules and to be impartial in doing so. I believe that I was impartial in doing so and I will continue.”
On Thursday, during a rally in the speaker’s constituency, Mitchell called the speaker a “jackass, a filthy rat, a coward and an indecent and unethical man”.
Moultrie said, “When Jesus walked the face of the earth, even as the savior, people said things about him.
“They called him Beelzebub, so I have no problems. You know, I am reminded of my grandmother’s statement, sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you. So I am not concerned. All is forgiven.
“I understand the spirit of which it was done.”
During his controversial communication, the speaker said, “Notwithstanding, the member (Davis) has allowed, in my estimation, reprobates and perverts with track records of denying and hating women to insert such a ludicrous assertion into his press release.
“My name might begin with an M but the first three letters are Mou and not Mit. Don’t mix me up. I am not a soft, powder puff man. I am a real man.”
Moultire was referring to a press release Davis sent out last week where he criticized the speaker for naming and suspending Hanna-Martin and said that he was a misogynist.
The speaker said yesterday, “The exercise on Wednesday will be an exercise within the rules and we will see what the outcome is. I’m prepared to live with the outcome.”
Education: College of The Bahamas, English