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One Step Closer To Two-Term Pm

Attorney General Carl Bethel.

Attorney General Carl Bethel.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PUBLIC consultation on bills establishing term limits for prime ministers and fixed dates for election will begin before the end of the year, Attorney General Carl Bethel said yesterday.

He said the Law Reform Commission, now headed by former Court of Appeal President Anita Allen, will “finalise two draft constitutional bills” to address such matters. 

“Once completed we will commence public consultations before the end of this year, and the government will then decide if it is required to hold a referendum, when to pass the bills and when to hold any referendum which might become necessary,” Mr Bethel said.

This is the closest the administration has come to outlining its referendum plans.

In the 2017 Speech from the Throne, the Free National Movement promised a constitutional referendum will be held to mandate that a prime minister could serve a maximum of two terms in office. The FNM also said a referendum would be held to establish an independent Electoral Commission and Constituencies Commission and a recall system for MPs; the latter would allow for the sacking of poorly performing parliamentarians, the FNM said.

In 2016, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, then leader of the Official Opposition, said he would host a referendum on amending the Constitution to remove the UK-based Privy Council as the highest court of appeal for murder convicts.

In 2014, he said he would push legislation limiting prime ministers to two terms in office.

“This has always been my position simply because everyone reaches a certain level when they would be maxed out, suffer from brain drain and become stagnant,” he said previously. “If someone remains in office for let’s say 20 years, they can only take you to a particular point. A maximum two terms in office would allow the generation of new ideas, new views and keep this country moving forward.”

The country has had two constitutional referenda, which both failed. 

And in 2013, the Christie administration held a non-binding gambling referendum, dubbed an “opinion poll”; however most people who voted in that exercise rejected the questions.

The Christie administration spent $1.2m on the 2013 gaming referendum. It was also estimated the 2016 constitutional referendum cost the public purse around $1.57m.

Comments

TalRussell 6 months, 1 week ago

This AG Carl Wilshire talks about everything other than where are the family sustaining paycheques for the people.
I go bed at nighttime assured that we don't need fix term limits we prime ministers. The nation be protected by the 91,409 comrades voting red in the previous general election 10th May 2017 who done resigned never a red shirts PM again. Besides, not since early days of Pindling has the voters gone to the polling stations to send a prime minister back to the PMO for more than two consecutive terms office. The nation's democracy is safe. Let's talk term limits for MP's to send a clear message not to plan making long-term career up in House off the public purse.... not that Carl Wilshire has ever experienced what it feels likes to being re elected to the House. Just imagine what Carl Wilshire would be doing today for a job if the constitution didn't have a provision for PM to appoint the non elected to Imperial red cabinet via the red chamber. {You has know this is not made up.Right? } Amen!

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Socrates 6 months, 1 week ago

interested to learn how you limit a PM to 2 terms.. we vote for parties in our system, the party chooses its leader and if they win, by convention that person automatically becomes PM. Are we going to now dictate to parties how long an individual can be their leader? seems a bit much to me...

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TalRussell 6 months, 1 week ago

The Comrade AG Carl Wilshire should know the red shirts party can merely pass a resolution at their next annually mandated party's convention to place a (2) term limit on not only their red party's prime minister to be down the road but the current holder office.... plus while they're at it they can also set term limits on the 35 red shirts MP's mistakenly sent up to the House by those now grown regretful 91,409 voters on 10th May 2017. No need cost-cutting KP want to allow the use the public purse be involved fund the holding of any referendums.

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proudloudandfnm 6 months, 1 week ago

Now this I can get behind. Please make sure you get it done. Don't bullshit us.

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TheMadHatter 6 months, 1 week ago

Socrates - yes we are going to dictate that. The quicker the better. I hope this referendum is done less than 12 months from now and it should state in the referendum that it takes immediate effectv- not allow Minnis to serve 3 terms cause this term "doesn't count".

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tetelestai 6 months, 1 week ago

MadHatter, yes, you can legislate that (it will be seriously challenged by the way and I opine that the bill will never pass). My question is, why do you want to legislate that. As the Bahamian people have already show in 2007, 2012 and 2017, if we don't like how you are governing the country, we will move you...simple as that. Why take the power from the people, who already can decide how long someone stays in power? On a list of things to do for the Bahamas, this falls around number 9,588.

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TheMadHatter 6 months, 1 week ago

Also 2 terms in total - not just consecutive, that way nobody can do what Ingraham did.

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Alex_Charles 6 months, 1 week ago

Make it two terms total!!! We don't need a Vladimir Putin where he simply puts a friend in his spot for a term and resets the clock for another 2 terms if it's set to consecutive.

Also if it's a law it can be repealed, referendum to add it to the constitution please. that way the No vote campaign can win again and nothing can change.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 6 months, 1 week ago

We also need a constitutional bill that will deal with our illegal immigrant/citizenship issues once and for all, and it should be sensibly drafted to reflect the known likely wishes of the vast majority of Bahamian voters so that it will receive a resounding "YES" vote.

Let's also not lose sight of the fact that all of the legislation passed in effort to try 'legalize' the ongoing criminal activities of the racketeering numbers bosses should be repealed in its entirety.

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joeblow 6 months, 1 week ago

It is already sensibly drafted but should remove any appearance of a loophole. But then what do we do with all those police, customs and immigration officers who are the children of illegal immigrants? Many of whom will be buying those $30,000 lots the gov't has for sale?

What a tangled web we have woven!

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TalRussell 6 months, 1 week ago

Ma Comrades, there is nothing Minnis and Carl Wilshire won't dig a crater-size loophole get around. As far back as 2015 then red shirts opposition leader swore before his country, the people and before his God that if he Minnis were to become prime minister he would not assume a ministerial portfolio but instead be the “CEO of Imperial Red Cabinet to ensure that "everything" gets done.” This man's has found in just 365 in office the most ingenious ways create more super commissions, committees and departments around him up in the office PMO, than Pop Symonette, Sir Stafford, Pindling, Papa Hubert and Perry's combined years up in PMO's office..... even to the extent of snatching away the environment ministerial portfolio for he self from Romauld - then denying he did it whilst accusing media publishing Fake News? { I couldn't possibly make this up }. Fine this Comrade, if you trust anything promised the people. I have long seen size them two's loopholes digging shovels.

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sheeprunner12 6 months, 1 week ago

Is the AG hinting at a wholesale revision of the present Constitution????? ........OR ................ Are they aiming to tear up Queen Elizabeth's London document and create a new Bay Street one?????

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licks2 6 months, 1 week ago

Look at yall go. . .using yinna brains and leaving the politics behind. . .not you Tal. . .still acting typical PLPish. . .I see why Mr. Chester Cooper talks so silly. . .it must be something in the PLP HQ water aye? Or is it something Mr. Mitchell mixes for yinna to drink in that place aye!

Anyway. . .them PLP can't help themselves aye. . .but again, I am glad to see most of our political "juice" is put aside for a little more objective input.

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TheMadHatter 6 months, 1 week ago

Tetelestai - because we had Pindling for too long.

I agree it is not the highest priority right now. Disagree it is 9588 - i would put it around #50.

Biggest priority right now (because Lloyd could do it in ten minutes with the stroke of a pen) is to change the FORCED grading scale which causes our average student to receive a grade of D instead of the internationally recognized C.

This is killing our youths' self esteem one 12th grade graduating class at a time. We are destroying our own people just because of some peoples' spite towards the USA.

This is called cutting off your nose to spite your face.

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sheeprunner12 6 months ago

All Bahamian public schools have a 5-point GPA (report card/transcript) system ...A,B,C,D,F ....... Now if you talking about BJC or BGCSE, that is a 7-point grading system ....A,B,C,D,E,F,G ........ But remember that these exams are measured on a curve that places you at a percentile skills level compared with the exam cohort .......... But most older Bahamians still see these as GCE grades ...... And the media is still feeding this nonsense too.

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TalRussell 6 months, 1 week ago

Ma Comrades, considering the now stressed out 91,409 voting for the Red Shirts Party's 2017 general election candidates have marked post election F Grades after alleging blatant irregularities in official stances when mouthing off the so many damn campaign pledges uttered by 35 man's and woman's now occupying the 35 governing seats up in People's Honourable House of Assembly - shouldn't they know if the 35 could pass polygraph examination? { No need falsify such irregularities }.

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TheMadHatter 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Sheep....".... But remember that these exams are measured on a curve that places you at a percentile skills level compared with..."

YES. YES. YES Exactly my point. Change the mathematical element of the damn curve!!!!!

This is not f%€£*&^ necessary. I have a degree in math. You can make any curve you want.

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