Leader of the Opposition Philip ‘Brave’ Davis. Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Leader Philip “Brave” Davis said he has “forgiven” House Speaker Halson Moultrie for the personal attacks he launched in the House of Assembly last week, but said he remains appalled by Free National Movement MPs who appeared to justify the Speaker’s behaviour Wednesday.
“Even the Speaker came along and said that he was wrong,” Mr Davis said during an outdoor meeting at the PLP’s headquarters last night.
“So, we forgive him because he asked for it, but the majority of right thinking Bahamians are perplexed and appalled by the fact that the governing members, save and except for (Pineridge MP Frederick) McAlpine, who was not brave enough to go all the way, said that the Speaker was right in his actions.
“Do these men have a moral compass?”
He also said: “They made the debate about (Glenys) Hanna Martin when the real issue was the Speaker’s behaviour. Hanna Martin had already been sanctioned, even if unjustly. Her matter was not before the House. It was the Speaker, who has been found guilty, guilty, guilty!”
On Mr Moultrie, he said: “The Speaker has put on a new coat! He has apologised and, if I am to go to God to ask forgiveness for anything, I must forgive him. So, I forgive him, but I have to walk circumspect in that place because under that fresh coat remains the weak foundation, rotten beams, and sagging roof.”
Mr Davis claimed FNMs were silenced from speaking out on the matter of Mr Moultrie, adding: “…Across the front bench the face of defeat was clear.
“The Minnis government proved to the country that they are not prepared to uphold what is right, what is decent, what is just and fair for our people!”
Despite accepting the Speaker’s apology, Mr Davis continued to bash him at yesterday’s rally, saying he “crushed democracy and insulted the hardworking staff of the House.”
Meanwhile, last night Exuma MP Chester Cooper, the party’s deputy leader, raised concerns about the multi-billion Grand Bahama energy project Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis spoke about Wednesday. Mr Cooper said the prime minister’s communication was an attempt to distract people from the main matter at hand, which was a motion of no confidence in the Speaker, put forth by the Official Opposition.
“What is the track record of this business in this environmentally sensitive industry?” he asked. “I googled it and it looks like a relatively new company to me?
“I also want to take this opportunity to ask this government where in the current budget is this $90 million they say they won’t affect government borrowing this year,” he said, referring to a resolution moved in the House earlier this month. “I checked the budget book again, you know. And I still don’t see it. The IDB said this money was approved by the organisation under the last administration. But the last administration never went to Parliament to approve that borrowing because VAT was on the right track. Now they’re borrowing again, after promising that, that astronomical deficit they blamed on the PLP was the last of it for this fiscal year. I want the minister of finance to know that we’re watching you.”
The loans from the Inter-American Development Bank will finance some $90m in projects in support of coastal management, airport infrastructure and various skill development initiatives.
The government has stressed that the resolution is not new borrowing and will not add to the government’s debt levels because the facility was approved by Parliament during the 2017 budget debate.