Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
PINERIDGE MP Frederick McAlpine said he too would vote against extending the state of emergency if he were attending tomorrow’s Hours of Assembly meeting.
The outspoken MP is avoiding sittings of the lower chamber following its recent exposure to some staffers with COVID-19.
Explaining why he opposes extending the state of emergency, he said: “The government has not been able to give us a balancing act as it relates to the state of emergency and our economy which is suffering. Somehow the competent authority has placed us all in the predicament where people are unable to deal with their deficits in their personal lives, that is mortgage, rent, school fees. Some people haven’t worked for seven months. The numbers are still growing but you have planes coming in.”
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis pleaded with Bahamians last week to follow COVID-19 protocols for at least three more weeks as the country continues to reopen. Last week, he also tabled a resolution in Parliament outlining the government’s intent to extend the state of emergency until October 31.
The emergency orders are currently slated to end at the end of the month.
Mr McAlpine took aim at Free National Movement officials who appeared to be campaigning in New Providence over the weekend in spite of the pandemic and subsequent restrictions.
“To add insult to injury,” he said, “you have on the table an extension for whenever you need to use this emergency order, yet you have members of your party campaigning, going house to house in a COVID environment? Why would the competent authority allow members of his party to go door-to-door in numbers in a COVID environment? Then you want to tell me I can’t go to my relative’s funeral? How do you do this? The time it takes to campaign, they should actually figure out how they will get this economy moving.”
Mr McAlpine said he agrees with former Minister of Health and Elizabeth MP Dr Duane Sands who said last week the Prime Minister alone should no longer have the power to create emergency powers orders. “The competent authority shouldn’t be one man. One man shouldn’t have all this power,” he said.