A shouting match erupted between government and opposition members in the House of Assembly yesterday, resulting in the opposition walking out.
The row ensued after opposition leader Philip Brave Davis attempted to castigate the Minnis administration following the arrests of former Urban Renewal Deputy Director Michelle Reckley and three other people.
Shortly after walking out of Parliament, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) held a press conference at the party’s headquarters.
Davis said, “I announce with no pleasure that the PLP parliamentary caucus will boycott the House of Assembly for a period in protest, to mark the seriousness.
“We will not rest until tyrannical attitudes and practices are forever vanquished from this society.”
Yesterday’s sitting of the House started with the speaker, Halson Moultrie, declaring, “We are admonished to do the people’s business with a spirit of love and peace.”
However, things soon escalated as Davis stood to his feet accusing the government of abusing its power.
“I make this intervention having regard to your admonishment about love,” he said.
“…God’s love reminds us that we should shun evil and the very appearance of evil.
“Mr. Speaker, I am satisfied that our democratic society is in peril.”
Davis was quickly cut off by Moultrie and asked to substantiate certain allegations (which the speaker struck from the record).
Davis then noted that not only could he support his claims, but he could also prove why two Cabinet ministers who testified in the recently concluded corruption trial of former PLP Senator Frank Smith should resign.
In her ruling in that matter, Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt was critical of the conduct of National Security Minister Marvin Dames and Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands in relation to the case.
Davis’ comments in the House yesterday triggered a heated exchange with Dames, who stood to defend himself as Immigration Minister Brent Symonette and Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis attempted to calm him down.
Moultrie suspended the House for several minutes to regain order.
When the sitting resumed, opposition MPs walked out amid heckles from government MPs, who were saying things like “bye, bye”, “keep moving”, “go gain some relevance” and “go have your rally”.
This is the second consecutive week opposition members walked out of Parliament.
Moultrie pointed to the opposition’s walk out around this same time last year.
“Somehow at this time of the year, it seems to be a time when we should be exercising love, but I remember too clearly Valentine’s Day of 2018,” he said.
“It seems as if there was an attempt to duplicate the events of 2018, but we are moving this Parliament ahead.”
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications