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Davis: House speaker desecrated his office

Cat Island, Rum Cay and Salvador MP Philip Brave Davis.

Charging that House Speaker Halson Moultrie has “embarrassed, debased and desecrated” his office, Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis brought a motion of no confidence in Moultrie today in the House of Assembly.

The decision to move a no confidence vote comes after the speaker launched a blistering and controversial attack on Davis and former Chief Clerk Maurice Tynes in the House of Assembly last week.

In an hour-long address, Davis asked the House to condemn Moultrie’s behavior.

“The primary reason is that the speaker has descended into the fray, into the mud pit and by doing so has irretrievably damaged the role of speaker as we understand it in our parliamentary democracy,” Davis said.

“He is the enforcer of the rules.  To do so, he must be impartial but more importantly seen to be impartial.  His responses cannot be personal.  They must be dispassionate.  The speaker is very much like a judge.”

House Deputy Speaker Don Saunders was in the chair as Davis sought to convince the House to reprimand the speaker.

Moultrie suspended the entire opposition last week. On January 31, he named and suspended Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin for two sittings.

Davis, the MP for Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador; Exumas and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper and Mangrove Cay and South Andros MP Picewell Forbes were suspended on February 7 for two sittings.

Moultrie suspended the men as they walked out the chamber. As they were leaving, Moultrie was in the middle of an attack against Tynes.

He went on to suggest that his marriage was much stronger than Davis’ as he was married to an “indigenous Bahamian” woman and had never been divorced.

Moultrie 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.”

Moultrie 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.

Opposition members returned to the House today.

Davis said Moultrie’s behavior is inexcusable.

“Whether we win this vote or not, his head is forever covered in shame,” Davis continued. “He is deluged in iniquity.  He has the mark of Cain on him. There will be a cloud over his brow in perpetuity.”

He also noted that the majority of members of Parliament on the governing side supported the speaker’s “wrongdoing”.

“The government of the people’s time banged on the table and laughed and joked as the speaker engaged in homophobic slurs, in attacks on a member’s wife and personal family affairs, on the reputations of the House staff and in seeking to mount a defense made a most egregious attack on a retired public servant.”

Davis added that if Moultrie “were a man of some grace, he would have stepped down on Monday.  The country expects him to do the right thing.”

He called on members to vote their conscience.

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