Attorney General Carl Bethel voiced concern today that Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) MPs and senators are staging their boycott as a tactic to intimidate the government and “prosecution services” in the country.
PLP senators walked out of the Upper Chamber yesterday, while PLP MPs did the same in the House of Assembly on Wednesday. Opposition senators did not show up at all today.
Party leaders have announced that the PLP is boycotting the House of Assembly and the Senate.
Bethel told the Senate that the PLP’s actions are unacceptable.
“With regard to certain events that happened yesterday where the opposition withdrew their services, I am somewhat concerned that the opposition forces seem to be seeking to use their posture in Parliament by boycotting it as some point of leverage to forestall or intimidate the government and to intimidate particularly the prosecution services of this country,” Bethel said.
“This is absolutely unacceptable in a civilized democracy. If there are legal disputes in the courts, they are fought in the courts.”
PLP Senator Fred Mitchell said on Thursday the party is taking a “principle stand”.
“We must all protest the persecution of our PLP supporters by this government, and the resulted breakdown in democracy as we see it,” Mitchell said.
PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis, along with the three other PLP MPs left the House on Wednesday following a shouting match between government and opposition members. The row ensued after Davis attempted to castigate the Minnis administration following the arrests of former Urban Renewal Deputy Director Michelle Reckley and three other people.
Davis accused the government of abusing its power.
Continuing to address the matter today, Bethel said the government created the independent, constitutionally protected Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to remove he stigma of political interference of public prosecutions.
“If I, as attorney general, gives an order to the director under the constitution, it must be defensible in law, clear, transparent, in writing and gazetted,” the AG continued.
“All I have to say is, I trust that the Bahaman people can see politics being played, when politics is being played.”
Education: Benedict College, BA in Mass Communications