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THIS WEEK IN THE BAHAMAS BY ELCOTT COLEBY (5 – 9 DECEMBER 2016)

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colebyThis week in Parliament
The House of Assembly met on Wednesday of this week to table and debate the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information Bill, 2016. What transpired shortly after the Lower House convened took every honourable House member save for seven by complete surprise.

Reading a letter delivered to him by certain members of the opposition, House speaker the Hon. Dr. Kendal Major read into the House records a request of the Governor General by seven opposition members to remove opposition leader the Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis from that statute post and replace him with Long Island MP the Hon. Loretta Butler-Turner. The letter referred to Aritcle 82(4) of The Bahamas Constitution as justification for this unprecedented move. The seven members felt that Dr. Minnis was unfit to lead the organization; he was ineffective and a failure as the opposition leader and the caucus had lost confidence in his ability to lead them.

The letter was signed by Butler-Turner, Dr. Andre Rollins (Fort Charlotte), Richard Lightbourn (Montague), Hubert Chipman (Saint Annes), Theo Neilly (North Eleuthera), Neko Grant (Central Grand Bahama) and Edison Key (South Abaco).

In his response to the House, Killarney MP and opposition leader conceded that he was caught off guard by the political ambush and said he was “saddened” that colleagues were prepared to “subvert democracy and take their way because they could not get their way in a democratic process.”

Speaking of the multiple leadership votes at the party level (the latest taking place in July of this year), Dr. Minnis said “we had gone through a democratic process within our organization, but we had individuals who attempted to subvert that democratic process.”

He called the group of seven “rebels,” stating that he was still the captain as he asserted that “democracy will always rule in The Bahamas. As I stand here as the leader of the opposition until they carry the letter to the Governor General, the leader of the Free National Movement, who was democratically elected to such a position, the FNM will democratically move toward a democratic electoral process.”  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE…