Leader of the Opposition Philip ‘Brave’ Davis. Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff
By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
OPPOSITION Leader Phillip "Brave" Davis yesterday said instituting term limits for the Office of the Prime Minister may cause the public to be deprived of who it desires to be its representative.
Mr Davis added he has "no issue" with fixed election dates, however, he said no "responsible opposition" should be caught off-guard by a snap election.
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.
In May, Attorney General Carl Bethel said public consultation on bills establishing term limits for prime ministers and fixed dates for election will begin before the end of the year.
Mr Bethel confirmed Cabinet would examine bills related to these initiatives on Monday, according to The Nassau Guardian.
When asked for an Opposition response, Mr Davis said: "It's just political rhetoric that feeds into the emotions of our citizenry.
"I think one has to recognise the history and experiences of our people. We have a representative democracy, which means that we are voted in by the people and when they are dissatisfied with us, they vote us out.
"To legislate term limits may very well be depriving the citizens of what they desire.
"So if they wish, or the will of the people, is for a person to serve for more than two terms in office, that will will be thwarted by an act of legislature. Or if they wish to determine your representation after or before, is being, again, thwarted.
"So I think in making things statements, one has to appreciate and understand the nature of our own democracy and what does it mean. Democracy requires the will of the people, in its fullest expression, to be carried out. Are you going to trump that by telling the people that if they want someone to serve as prime minister for more than two years, that cannot happen, by an act of Parliament?"
When asked if fixed election dates could put an end to the practice of "snap elections", Mr Davis said "it could".
"I have no issue with fixed election dates," he said.
However, he added a "responsible opposition" ought to not be caught off guard by snap elections.
"Because if they are appreciating the landscape, you ought to be able to predict and see what is happening or what is not happening to prepare themselves," he said.
"For example, I'm preparing myself for anything, for any eventuality that may arise in the future, having regard to what is going on in the country today."
Mr Davis also said the PLP Leadership Council had a meeting last night to "discuss the way forward". He added the matter of the party's convention will also be considered.