The Speaker of the House Halson Moultrie. (File photo)
By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
HOUSE of Assembly Speaker Halston Moultrie has turned in his keys to the government because he is not satisfied with the state of his office and bathroom facilities. He is refusing to set foot in that area again unless the situation has been corrected.
While in Parliament on October 22, Mr Moultrie chided Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis for mentioning the planned relocation of the Cabinet Office because of a leaky roof while failing to indicate a plan to address issues in the House of Assembly.
Mr Moultrie had previously said there was no running water in his bathroom and cited mould, a leaking roof, and an office that was deemed a security risk by the Royal Bahamas Police Force as other issues of contention.
In his scathing address to Parliament on the matter, Mr Moultrie said he is of the view that a man should never respect any other man above himself and since God is not a respecter of persons, he could not sit idly by as the presiding officer of Parliament and accept such circumstances.
Mr Moultrie threatened that if his office and bathroom were not addressed, he would turn in his keys for his office on October 31, as he would not be utilising that office in its present condition.
When contacted on Sunday for an update, Mr Moultrie told The Tribune: “I have already moved out on Friday and I turned the keys into Parliament. This has nothing to do with me being the Speaker of the House of Assembly. I made it very clear that I will not be resigning as Speaker, but rather pushing for the independence or autonomy of the legislative branch.
“I was given the assurance by the Minister of Works that the ground floor of the Senate building would be renovated to accommodate the Speaker’s office. In the interim, the existing Speaker’s office, the conditions remain the same. In respect to the existing Speaker’s office, I will not be returning there. It is a health hazard and has been condemned as a security risk by the police. There is no running water in the bathroom facilities. The place is full of mould and the ceiling is leaking.”
The Nassau Village MP is of the view that there is not sufficient focus being put on the development of the legislative branch of Parliament by the executive branch.
“I believe that the relationship with the executive branch and the legislative branch is an adulterous relationship in the doctrine of the separation of powers. The model of democracy that we have adopted calls for three branches of government – the legislative branch, the executive branch and the judicial branch. Democracy cannot work when one branch would encroach into the main jurisdiction of any of the other two branches.
“There is a strict, unwritten rule that no individual should function within two or more branches. In other words, if you are an executive, you should have no role in the judiciary or legislative branch. The reasons for that to me are simple and clear. You cannot have one branch of the government dominating the other two branches and that is exactly what we have in The Bahamas today, dominance of the judiciary and the legislative branch by the executive branch.”