THE SPEAKER PRESENTS HIS OWN ISSUES TO THE PLP
sildenafil no rx times;”>The PLP was shocked that the Speaker of the House Kendal Major who occupies a PLP seat in the House ruled against it when they sought to move closure in the matter of the budget debate on 17th June. The rules allow the Speaker the discretion to determine whether or not the debate is being unfairly stopped and in order to protect the rights of the minority he can refuse to allow the motion to be put. The motion was proposed by the Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis just after the speech of the Minister for Tourism Obie Wilchcombe.
The debate began on 3rd June. Andre Rollins was up to 17th June part of the PLP’s caucus. The PLP’s Leaders told Mr. Rollins he was to speak on the morning of Tuesday 17th. He had absented himself from Parliament from the week before. Back benchers speak first before ministers. The Speaker said that his heart would not allow him to have the motion put; that notwithstanding the Deputy Prime Minister pointing out that the rule says to protect the minority and Mr. Rollins was part of the majority, he would allow Mr. Rollins to speak. He agreed that the debate had been long and many hours spent. Presumably then that meant that the test in the rule that the matters had been sufficiently aired was met. He said that minority as applied to Mr. Rollins and majority as applied to Mr. Rollins was playing with words. The Prime Minister intervened forcefully arguing against what the Speaker ultimately ruled. The Speaker ignored it all and ruled against the majority.
This is the second time that such a ruling has been given. Earlier the Speaker in contravention of the rules allowed the Leader of the Opposition to give a communication in the Parliament attacking the government on the issue of the role of the Public Accounts Committee and whether it could issue a subpoena. It was pointed out to the Speaker that the rule required the consent of the House for the Leader to speak and the government would not give its consent. He ignored it and allowed it any way. The Speaker in the Bahamas House cannot be removed for any reason. You can only attack the Speaker by way of a substantive motion of no confidence but he does not have to resign. Now we have a situation where it has been done again and government leaders are furious.
The Speaker himself it appears has for the second time said that the government will have to do what it has to do and some suggest that he contemplated resigning himself in the face of the firestorm of criticism over the ruling. Let us take the position of the Deputy Prime Minister who said to The Tribune that he disagrees with ruling; he thinks it is wrong but he accepts it. That is us. Shane Gibson the Minister of Labour say that the Speaker is wrong and he hopes that the matter will be corrected. We think for the moment we must leave it there. It was a discretion and although we think wrongly exercised it was a discretion. But you will see from some comments by George Smith, the former MP elsewhere in this column that politics requires a lot of preparation.
This is not a theoretical game but hard facts on the ground. The reality is the PLP got the Speaker there. The PLP will have to help keep him in the seat. He will have to go back to the PLP to get renominated and reelected. Team playing is therefore most important. Those are the facts of life. So anyone who is in politics for the long term always bears in mind that survival is the name of the game not Hara-kiri.