By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts has rebuked opposition leader Dr Hubert Minnis for his stance on the four Constitutional Amendment Bills, saying they should not be based on “supposed conspiracies and suppositions” but on the legal facts surrounding the gender equality referendum next month.
In a statement yesterday, Mr Roberts invited the Free National Movement (FNM) leader to stand in solidarity with Prime Minister Perry Christie to publicly support the four amendments.
His remarks came the day after Dr Minnis said the Christie administration was shoving the “yes” vote down people’s throats. The Killarney MP further claimed that the government is biased and undemocratic in its handling of the referendum.
“The four constitutional bills currently before the Bahamian people in a referendum on June 7 were passed in both chambers of the House with near unanimous approval,” Mr Roberts said yesterday.
“The Progressive Liberal Party supports the government in advancing equality for all Bahamians under the law. The voting in both chambers of the House clearly indicates bipartisan support for the proposed constitutional amendments.
“I publicly invite the leader of the Official Opposition to stand with the Prime Minister in solidarity and public support for these four constitutional bills as they voted in Parliament.”
He added: “Dr Minnis should be seen educating Bahamians on the legal facts surrounding these four bills and condemning misinformation and conspiracy theories because the courts of this country hand down judgments based purely on the facts as they appear in law - not based on opinions, supposed conspiracies and not on suppositions.”
Mr Roberts applauded the work of the Constitutional Commission, which he said continues to do a thorough job of educating Bahamians throughout the country for the past two years. “Their level of public consultation with civil society was comprehensive,” he said.
“At the political level, I am willing to stand in solidarity with FNM Chairman Sidney Collie in a public display of unity as we deepen our democracy by ensuring that both men and women are treated equally under the law and to prevent any future Parliament from passing laws that discriminate against any Bahamian because of their sex - meaning male or female.”
In an interview with The Nassau Guardian on Monday, Dr Minnis said as a democratic country, the objective should be to educate the people and then allow them to make an educated decision by themselves without any kind of outside influence.
Instead, Dr Minnis said there are those who are trying to force Bahamians to make the choice by “shoving it down their throats”.