Wednesday, Feb 19, 2020
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AG: PLP boycott unacceptable

Attorney General Carl Bethel voiced concern yesterday that Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) MPs and senators are staging their parliamentary boycott as a tactic to intimidate the government and “prosecution services” in the country.

He called it “unacceptable”.

Addressing the Senate, Bethel said, “Before I get into my remarks, let me say 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.”

His comments come two days after PLP MPs walked out of the House of Assembly and one day after PLP senators did the same in the upper chamber.

PLP senators did not show up at all yesterday.

At a press conference on Wednesday, opposition leader Philip Brave Davis announced that the party would boycott the House.

“We will not rest until tyrannical attitudes and practices are forever vanquished from this society,” he said.

Bethel said the opposition’s action are “absolutely unacceptable in a civilized democracy”.

“If there are legal disputes in the courts, they are fought in the courts,” he said.

“We, you know, not so long ago passed an amendment to the constitution which created the independent, constitutional and constitutionally protected office of the Director of Public Prosecutions precisely to remove the stigma of political interference from public prosecutions.

“If I, as attorney general, wished to give an order to the director under the constitution, it must be defensible in law, clear, transparent in writing and gazetted. And, so, all I have to say is I trust that the Bahamian people can see politics being played when politics is being played. Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

Davis has accused the government of abusing its power, and also 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.

Jasper Ward

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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