Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis yesterday slammed the government for backing off its campaign pledge to implement a recall system for non-performing members of Parliament.
Attorney General Carl Bethel told The Nassau Guardian on Monday that government currently does not have plans to implement the system, which he claimed the Free National Movement (FNM) did not commit to.
It was, however, promised by FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis in the lead-up to the 2017 election and in the Speech from the Throne after the FNM was elected.
While Bethel previously said that campaign finance legislation is currently a priority of the Office of the Attorney General, Minnis said last week his administration has “seven more years” to bring such legislation — another item he had promised to deliver on if elected in 2017.
“Again, as I said before, just like the campaign finance reform, where they’re saying well they don’t have to do it now, it’s all what they did prior to the elections just to get elected,” said Davis at his monthly press conference at PLP headquarters.
“And now that they’re elected, you see that they’re abandoning all of their promises. Now, they promised it [but] they’re not implementing it.”
On Monday, Bethel said a system for recalling non-performing MPs is not workable in a parliamentary context and that he was not aware of it having been done in any other Commonwealth country.
Davis disputed that yesterday, saying: “I think he went as far as to say that he doesn’t see such legislation in any other Commonwealth countries.
“Well, I daresay, in Britain, there’s a Recall of MPs Act, 2015…and my recollection is that there may be other Commonwealth countries that have the recall act. But I just go to the mother country – the United Kingdom – they do have a Recall of MPs Act, 2015.
“And your attorney general, you’re having the attorney general of this country, saying that nowhere… At the very least, before he said it – well, two things I would’ve thought: that before making the promises of implementing such a law, you would have thought that they would’ve looked around the world to see whether they have such a system, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
“They must have noted that there was such a system and they decided they will put that in their platform and now the attorney general is suggesting that he’s not aware of such legislation in any Commonwealth country. Tells us what and who we have as an attorney general.”
Shortly after it won a landslide election in May 2017, the Minnis administration said in the Speech from the Throne it intended to hold a referendum to get the consent of the electorate to establish an independent Electoral Commission and Boundaries Commission, introduce term limits for prime ministers and introduce a system of recall for non-performing members of Parliament.