Speaker of the House of Assembly Halson Moultrie delivered a “backhanded slap to democracy” when he rejected a proposal by the opposition for a “full and frank” discussion about Hurricane Dorian in the House of Assembly Wednesday morning, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Fred Mitchell charged yesterday.
The proposal was made by PLP Leader and Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP Philip Brave Davis.
In a statement, Mitchell said, “In a backhanded slap to democracy and freedom of speech, the House speaker and, not surprisingly, the government members of the House, rejected a proposal for an open and frank discussion on issues surrounding and related to the recent passage of Hurricane Dorian.
“What a joke the speaker has become. Just days ago the speaker was boasting about 290 years of parliamentary democracy, but when given the opportunity to defend democratic principles, he dropped the ball.”
Mitchell said the “African ancestors are ashamed” of Moultrie.
“The House speaker should be ashamed of himself,” he said.
Yesterday was the first sitting of the House of Assembly since Dorian decimated parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama last month.
Moultrie decided to strike several paragraphs of Davis’ proposal from the record.
Mitchell described the decision as “quite frankly laughable”, noting that the speaker’s reasoning was “wrong”.
In his proposal, Davis said Parliament would be “derelict in its public duties” if such a discussion was not permitted.
“This exercise is of public importance to all,” the opposition leader said.