By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
MINISTER of Youth, Sports and Culture Michael Pintard, one of seven parliamentarians who were absent for Wednesday’s vote of confidence in House Speaker Halson Moultrie, said yesterday Mr Moultrie “went too far” in some of his comments last week.
However, he said he would have sided with the majority had he been present for the vote.
“While I did not agree with some of what he said, I thought he went too far on several of those matters, but I would have supported his staying on given the fact that he has demonstrated he is apologetic and his comments were out of character,” the Marco City MP said.
Mr Pintard declined to discuss the matter further, saying: “I believe we should be talking about issues that directly concern my constituents. People are having challenges addressing the mortgage situation, for instance. I’m not prepared to have a whole lot of time discussing this matter.”
Nonetheless, Mr Pintard’s critical comment makes him one of just two Free National Movement (FNM) parliamentarians to express such a view on the record, joining Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine who said last week’s parliamentary session represented an “all-time low.”
Other parliamentarians - who attended the earlier sitting of the House on Wednesday but were absent for the vote in the evening – reached by The Tribune yesterday said they had important engagements Wednesday that explained why they missed the event.
Mr McAlpine, for instance, noted he announced his support for the speaker when he gave his speech.
“I had a previous arrangement but I stood up and gave my view in the House,” he said. “I could not support the motion (of no confidence) being brought at that time by the opposition.”
Long Island MP Adrian Gibson said he had to take a 2.15pm Bahamasair flight to Long Island for “constituency meetings”.
As for North Eleuthera MP Ricky Mackey, he said he needed to celebrate Valentine’s Day with his wife.
“Absolutely I support the speaker,” Mr Mackey said. “My reason for leaving, and I indicated the support of the speaker to the leader the Leader of Government Business Renward Wells, was yesterday (Wednesday) was Valentine’s Day. I’m married for 31 years and I want to be married for 32. I had to travel back to Eleuthera and to be home for Valentine’s I had to leave at 3.”
Pinewood MP Rueben Rahming was also absent for the vote, but he expressed great support in Mr Moultrie during an earlier contribution to the debate on Wednesday.
He, Central and South Abaco MP James Albury and Free Town MP Dionisio D’Aguilar could not be reached by The Tribune yesterday. They were all also absent for Wednesday’s vote.