PLP’S STATEMENT ON THE HOUSE IMPASSE
The following statement was issued by the Chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party after the Speaker of the House Halson Moultrie shut down the House of Assembly until 3rd May 2021 with the declaration if you want war, then you will get one. The Speaker of the House was upset that the Prime Minister refused to consult him on the operation of the House of Assembly’s business that day 28 April 2021 in the face of David Forbes, Clerk of the House, with an infection of covid:
I observed today with great interest the development in the House where the Speaker abruptly adjourned the sitting of the House, effectively preventing the government from reading and tabling a bill in advancement of its legislative agenda. In the process, the Speaker suggested that if the government wanted war, they will have a war. Needless to say, this created a legislative impasse and a potential constitutional crisis.
The Speaker and the government could not agree.
If per chance, the bill to be tabled was the annual budget, an impasse would create the threat of a government shut down with disastrous consequences.
Under the Westminster system of governance, when there is an impasse in Parliament that is preventing the government from advancing its legislative agenda, there is only one solution. The House is dissolved, a general election is called and the people give the government a new and fresh mandate.
It then stands to reason that under the current circumstances, the Prime Minister has a critical decision to make. He must set the date for the next General Election and seek a fresh governance mandate from the Bahamian people.