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Emergency Rule Renewed - Plp Says ‘We Won’T Back It’

GOVERNOR General C A Smith issued a new proclamation of emergency last night, his third since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The Progressive Liberal Party called the act an “abuse of power” and said the official opposition will not support the move in Parliament.

A new proclamation means a state of emergency — and the competent authority’s associated emergency powers — can remain in effect for another six months, if not revoked sooner.

The new proclamation was issued a week after Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis told the House of Assembly he intended to seek Parliament’s approval to extend the country’s state of emergency, which was set to expire on November 30, to December 28.

The Governor General’s second proclamation of emergency was also set to expire at the end of December.

Attorney General Carl Bethel told The Tribune that a new proclamation was issued last night because the government “wished to avoid debate on a new proclamation in the middle of the Christmas holidays”.

“It would take MPs out of their constituencies for about a week having regards to the need to table in both Houses (of Parliament) and debate the next day.

“The Governor General in his own deliberate judgment decided to make the proclamation. He could have always said no. It was ultimately his decision,” Mr Bethel explained.

Last night, Progressive Liberal Party leader Philip “Brave” Davis said the opposition party “does not and will not support the new Proclamation of Emergency issued this evening by the Governor General.”

Mr Davis said in a statement: “We will refuse to allow the matter to be debated tomorrow (Wednesday) in the House and will not waive the notice requirement.

“The issue of the proclamation is an abuse of power. Civil liberties have been suspended long enough and we say the suspension must end and go no farther.”

The Bahamas has been under a state of emergency since the Governor General first issued a proclamation on March 18, shortly after the country recorded its first COVID-19 case.

That initial proclamation expired on June 29 after the government failed to bring a resolution in time to have it extended.

However, the Governor General swiftly issued a second proclamation.

Last week, former Minister of State for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez, QC, told The Nassau Guardian that the government may face litigation if a new proclamation of emergency was issued.

“I think they’ll start to see litigation at that point,” Mr Gomez told The Nassau Guardian.

He also said: “My view of it is, firstly, you should only use states of emergency sparingly. Doing it repeatedly undermines the perception of the country as a country governed by laws and freedoms.”

Comments

joeblow 1 month, 3 weeks ago

C A Smith is a failed career politician, who loves nursing at the teat of the public treasury and will do whatever is necessary to continue to grow fat on it! Yet someday he and others like him will be called national heroes!

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jackbnimble 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Of course. When the dissident 7 took a stand against Minnis he was all up in the press scolding them. What people fail to realize is Minnis was going around promising all and sundry positions in Government if they backed him and the party won. In some cases he promised more than one person the same position. Smith sang for his supper and this is the outcome. We are going to continue to be in a sad state at least until the next election. God help us if he gets a second term.

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licks2 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I don't know what universe our OL lives in. . .the GG granted the new order. . .our Constitution allows no appeal against any order by the GG!!

Emergency ORDER: Chapter 34 allows no opposition except the Constitution. . .the Constitution says that NOBODY can oppose an order given by the GG!!

Parliament may deliberate the order. . .but they have no say in whether the order takes effect or not!! So, Mr. Davis is talking fally. . .he is a lawyer. . .he knows that!! I am waiting to see what the heck Mr. Gomez will do. . .all over the place saying what he will do in December if the GG gives the new EO!! He can't do jack!!

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JokeyJack 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Maybe you are trying to "get position" when the Chinese Communist Party takes over? Lockdowns and removal of civil rights are just up their alley. You could be their errand boy.

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JokeyJack 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Correct. The big problem is that we have to wait 5 years in between getting rid of each group. Elections need to be every 3 years.

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DDK 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Carl Bethel is full of it. Get rid of him too!

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DDK 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Don't worry Jack Nimble. No second term. In fact the next election is too far away. These Nazis need to go NOW!

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DDK 1 month, 3 weeks ago

What say you, Comrade? Is it time to visit Her Majesty? Do we not have a dictator at our helm?

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JokeyJack 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Exactly, doesn't the Leader of the Opposition have the right to get someone on the phone in the UK? I keep telling Bahamians to boycott Independence Day celebrations, but they never do. It seems that a few beers and some chicken is much more valuable to them than their freedom.

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