FNM regrets minister’s letter to the Speaker of The House of Assembly

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Dr. Hon. Hubert A. Minnis - Leader of the FNM
Dr. Hon. Hubert A. Minnis – Leader of the FNM

It is unacceptable and totally disrespectful for a sitting Member of Parliament especially a Cabinet Minister to write a letter to the Honourable Speaker and to simultaneously publish that letter in the media and share it with members of the public. By doing this, the Minister has put the Speaker in a very delicate position since he must now make a public ruling on the concerns of the minister.

The release of the letter to the public could easily be seen as a direct attempt to undermine, weaken and diminish the authority and integrity of the Speaker. Additionally, the release of the letter conveys the message and also creates the impression that the minister is attempting to bring public pressure on the Speaker to influence his decision on the matter advanced by Minister Mitchell.

Mitchell has shown contempt for the office of the Speaker in leaking his letter. He is clearly of the view that the Speaker is a puppet of both the executive branch and the PLP, and is therefore compelled to accept the executive’s blanket contempt for his authority and any semblance of respect for his office, or face the possibility that he may not receive a nomination from the PLP to run in the next general election. This, like Minister Fitzgerald’s dangerous email disclosure in the House, is yet another shameful affront to our democracy by a reckless and out of control executive. Consequently, it is anticipated that the Speaker would condemn and reprimand Mr. Mitchell at his earliest opportunity at the next sitting of Parliament.

The Minister’s action was also disrespectful and discourteous to the serving members of The Committee of Privilege. We were informed that the Minister never consulted or advised that a letter was going to the Speaker and was being released to the media. The FNM members of the Committee and FNM’s everywhere are strongly opposed to the views and suggestions expressed in the letter. Further, they condemn and denounce in the strongest terms, the characterization made by the minister that lawyers were “half baked”, we regard his characterization and portrayal as despicable and unprofessional to lawyers in general and the Queen’s Council in question in particular.

The FNM also regards as disgraceful and disparaging, the references to civil servants especially senior public officials as “misguided.” Senior civil servants strongly object to this insult and abuse by the minister. However, they have become accustomed to the minister and the PLP referring to them as less than competent and smugglers.

The FNM committee members have also disassociated themselves from the Minister’s characterization of the courts and the leadership of these institutions as “misdirected”. Committee members all know that it is absolutely wrong for a member of the Executive Branch to speak about the Judicial Branch in such a condescending and disrespectful way. Mitchell has shown contempt for the office of the Speaker in leaking his letter. He is clearly of the view that the Speaker is a puppet of both the executive branch and the PLP, and is therefore compelled to accept the executive’s blanket contempt for his authority and any semblance of respect for his office, or face the possibility that he may not receive a nomination from the PLP to run in the next general election. This, like Minister Fitzgerald’s dangerous email disclosure in the House, is yet another shameful affront to our democracy by a reckless and out of control executive. Consequently, it is anticipated that the Speaker would condemn and reprimand Mr. Mitchell at his earliest opportunity at the next sitting of Parliament.

The FNM believes that this matter is very serious and it must be addressed immediately so that the PLP Government does not continue its attempt to further erode our Parliamentary Democracy.

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