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Moultrie Secure In Confidence Challenge

Speaker of the House Halson Moultrie. Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

Speaker of the House Halson Moultrie. Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

 krussell@tribunemedia.net

THE Free National Movement’s wide majority in the House of Assembly is clear indication of the expected failure of today’s no confidence vote in Speaker Halson Moultrie, Bamboo Town MP Renward Wells suggested yesterday.

Mr Wells, who is also leader of government business in the House, said when the sitting convenes, Bahamians will also see the government is intent on continuing with the people’s business.

Commenting on his expectations, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis added he would give “great news” when Parliament meets again. He did not elaborate further on how the government intended to handle the no confidence motion, which is to be brought by the Official Opposition.

This vote follows a two week stand off between the government and the Official Opposition over Mr Moultrie’s disciplinary action on the minority members, resulting in first the suspension and naming of Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin two weeks ago. Cat Island, Rum, Cay and San Salvador MP Philip “Brave” Davis, South Andros and Mangrove Cay MP Picewell Forbes and Exuma and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper were then suspended last Wednesday for two sittings.

For the vote to be successful, the opposition would need the support of almost every government member of Parliament.

“The government is the majority,” Mr Wells said yesterday when he was asked about the Minnis administration’s confidence level ahead of Parliament today.

“As the prime minister has intimated in the dailies today, this is always…with every Free National Movement speaker of the House, every speaker that was appointed by the Free National Movement, just about, has faced a vote of no confidence by the side opposite.”

It is unclear specifically which speakers both the prime minister and Mr Wells were referring to, but according to The Tribune’s records only one of the three most recent speakers faced a vote of no confidence.

In 2007 the Progressive Liberal Party, then in opposition, moved a motion, which was approved, to hold a no confidence vote in then Speaker Alvin Smith.

The decision to move the vote was predicated by then opposition leader, former Prime Minister Perry Christie’s attempts to speak raising objections to certain terms used by then prime minister Hubert Ingraham, which were made at a previous sitting.

At the time Mr Ingraham had criticised the former PLP government for leaving the Bahamian judicial system in a mess.

However, the motion was defeated during debate in the House. At the time, the governing Ingraham administration held the majority in the House, 23 to 18.

In 2001, then Coalition for Democratic Reform Leader Bernard Nottage called on former Speaker R Italia Johnson to resign her post in the House and as chairman of the Boundaries Commission for attempting to join the race for leader of the FNM. His calls did not advance past this point.

No record could be found of a vote of no confidence in former Speaker Vernon Symonette. He served as speaker under a previous FNM administration in 1992.

In a letter sent to the House of Assembly, Mr Davis served notice of his or another minority member’s intention to move a vote of no confidence in the chair. 

On Friday the  notice was sent to David Forbes, Acting Chief Clerk in the House of Assembly.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 8 months, 1 week ago

Now we get to see if Minnis is arrogant enough to double-down on the huge mistake he made in supporting Moutlrie's appointment as Speaker of the House in the first place. Moultrie sorely lacks the intelligence and temperament necessary for such a position, not to mention his very outdated fixed and warped views about a number of things best left unsaid. In any event, he has already violated on numerous occasions the oath he gave in accepting the appointment, resulting in great harm, damage and embarrassment to the Office of the Speaker of the House. He should have done the right thing and resigned the Speakership rather than force Minnis to now seek his removal. We shall soon see whether Minnis has a strong enough backbone to right a wrong, or whether he is as foolishly defiant as some claim him to be.

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BahamasForBahamians 8 months, 1 week ago

These guys just dont get it.

The Bahamas is bigger than your government/administration.

The greater win is not securing the majority of votes within the halls of parliament if the wider majority does not support what is being voted on.

This administration has obviously not learned from previous failures.

Every day we get closer to 2022 it becomes clear Hubert does not care to become Rt. Honorable... which is fair and within his right.. but the wellbeing and future of Bahamians that actually care for this country should not be compromised.

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birdiestrachan 8 months, 1 week ago

If any one should really be ashamed of himself, it should be wells He will do well to remember that when he was a PLP Roc wit doc had him as dirty to walk on. but when he became a FNM he was a great. Flip and Flop Doc.

They will all get their just reward. And they will see soon enough wrong is wrong and right is right,

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John 8 months, 1 week ago

Even though the motion of no confidence was defeated in that the mention was amended by the Government to a 'vote of confidence' an supported by the majority in the House it was an exercise that was needed to clear the air. Four member voted against, one member abstained, seven were absent and the rest vote in favor of the vote of confidence in the speaker. And if you tuned in to the parliamentary proceedings at the rijght moment, it could have easily been mistaken for a church service, given the amount of scriptures that were quoted, sermons that wer preached, high praises dumped on the speaker along with much chastisement.

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Porcupine 8 months ago

It's all a show. And we the people are the fools. The Bahamas continues its downward slide, picking up speed each year. These jokey leaders are all buffoons. So, what are we for putting them there?

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John 8 months ago

It was not a show. It was A DIVINE REVELATION that showed most of our leaders' faith is grounded in Christian principles and the teachings of the Bible are still relevant. And also many of the bills they attempt to pass, like spousal abuse, and the one the would have permitted same sex marriage are foreign. And the people must stand untied against these bills and show their leaders they will not tolerate them. Just like they did not tolerate the missteps of the speaker and sent their representatives back to the house to fix it.and to humble Moultire to apologize and say even after he won the vote of confidence. He could have been pig headed and didn't have it. These most fitting ending would have been for everyone present in the house to join hand and sing, "We shall overcome,' against the wicked forces, Porcupine, that seek to divide and control this country and its people. Moultire was not too big to say sorry and admit he erred.

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