The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) is ending its boycott and returning to the House of Assembly today, announced Mangrove Cay and South Andros MP Picewell Forbes yesterday.
The opposition’s boycott began earlier this month as a result of the government ignoring calls for the resignations of Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands and Minister of National Security Marvin Dames regarding their involvement in former PLP Senator Frank Smith’s bribery and extortion trial.
Although the PLP decided to end its boycott, the party advised that it has written to CARICOM and the Commonwealth Secretariat regarding the controversial matter.
In a statement, Forbes said, “The general public is advised that the opposition parliamentarians and senators will return to the House at the next sitting. The lower house meets on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.
“The opposition is satisfied that the point of the boycott of Parliament was sufficiently made in the public domain about the corrupt conduct of the government and, in particular, the conduct of Ministers Marvin Dames, Duane Sands and Carl Bethel, whose behavior in the Frank Smith case undermined the rule of law and were roundly condemned by an independent and dispassionate judicial review.
“The public is further advised that the leader of the opposition, the Honorable Philip Brave Davis, has written a letter to both the secretaries general of the Commonwealth [Secretariat] and CARICOM, formally bringing this egregious issue to the attention of the international community.
“The opposition is fully committed to holding the government’s feet to the fire in and out of Parliament on this critical constitutional issue and any other issue of national import.”
Asked yesterday what he expects will be the outcome of the decision to write to CARICOM and the Commonwealth Secretariat, Davis said he could not be sure.
“I would not know what the outcome is, but what I do know is that I thought it necessary to bring the conduct of this government to the attention of these two bodies,” Davis said.
He added, “They will act within accordance with their own protocols, and we do not expect that they would involve themselves in our local political affairs, but rather they would be at least moving to ensure that the rule of law is adhered to, at least have some conversations with the government as to what they ought to be doing or not doing.”
Davis said that Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis might also face resignation calls over the matter.
“They need to step down, and we will not relent on that quest,” he said.
“The prime minister promised that he would have addressed those issues in his rally in Freeport, or his call meeting in Freeport, but failed to do so.
“Very soon we have to be questioning his moral authority to continue in office because of his failure and seemingly cloaking of these two ministers.”