The Progressive Liberal Party acknowledges the resignation of Malcolm Adderley as a member of the Party.
Mr. Adderley has indicated to a friend that he will now sit in the House of Assembly as an independent member.
It is most unfortunate that Mr. Adderley made his decision without discussing it first with the people who elected him on two occasions on a PLP ticket. This is nothing short of blatant disrespect and seen too often from people who claim to care about the people. Not only did Adderley not speak with the good people of Elizabeth, he refused invitations to meet with the leadership of the PLP.
The PLP admits that the party was not taken by surprised. It was long rumored that Mr. Adderley was headed in this direction and his actions certainly confirmed that he was engaged in an effort to justify the decision he has now taken.
Following the general elections of May 2007, Mr. Adderley agreed to remain on as Chairman of the Gaming Board in an FNM administration a position he was appointed to by the Perry Christie Government. It is normal that when government’s change elected members who are serving on boards vacate the positions to allow the government to appoint another.
This decision was seen by many as the first indication that Mr. Adderley was pursuing interest personal to him and not in the interest in the Progressive Liberal Party and had abandoned the ideals that produced great men and women of maturity, integrity and commitment to country above self.
The PLP notes with deep concern the continued abuse of power and destruction of our treasured institutions by the FNM.
These continued abuses of power and destruction of our institutions are heaping unbearable and irreparable damage upon the backs of Bahamians. The country is suffering the highest murder, armed robbery and other crime rate in living memory. The murder rate has climbed from 79 in 2007 and is likely to exceed 100 in 2009, when the final classification is completed!
This is in no small measure due to the political interference in the appointment of the Commissioner of Police. Commissioner Greenslade was to have been appointed in 2007. The FNM appointed Reginald Ferguson so that his pension could be “fixed up”. The brother of the then Chairman of the FNM and Hubert Ingraham’s “boy” was fixed up while Bahamians paid the price of crime spiraling out of control, tourists were attacked, cruise ships told their passengers not to go on tours, investors left The Bahamas, financial services continued to face steep decline and Bahamians were held hostage in their homes.
Since May 2007 the FNM has appointed five (5) Ministers responsible for legal affairs, Claire Hepburn, Desmond Bannister, Michael Barnett, Brent Symonette and John Delaney. Since May 2007, the FNM has appointed three (3) known FNM supporters as Judges of the Supreme Court, Claire Hepburn, Rhonda Bain and Michael Barnett. As former Attorneys General, Justices Hepburn and Barnett are disqualified from hearing criminal matters and any matter involving the government. Several lawyers have indicated that the result of this game playing, they cannot get dates for trials. This game of musical chairs and rewarding political associates continues to undermine the administration of justice.
The FNM has launched further attacks upon the electoral process and the administration of justice.
The laws of The Bahamas, including the highest law, the Constitution, stipulate the manner in which persons may be elected to Parliament and must vacate their seat in Parliament.
The proposed holding of a By Election in the Elizabeth Constituency, for the purpose of determining the popularity of the governing party and whether or not it can win a General Election is an abuse of power; tramples upon our laws and is a naked attack upon the institution of a free and fair electoral process.
The Constitution stipulates that Supreme Court Justices are to be appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission and mandates that Supreme Court justices must retire at age 65 unless extended for 2 years to age 67, at which age, they must retire.
While Malcolm Adderley who resigned from the Progressive Liberal Party via undated letter may be a worthy candidate to be appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of the Bahamas, his appointment would be made in a manner that flies in the face of our laws and the Constitution. Mr. Adderley is now 64 years of age. We have no objection to the appointment of a 64 year of judge.
The problem is that the FNM would have struck a deal with Malcolm Adderley for him to resign his seat in Parliament in exchange for which he would be appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court at age 64 (less than one year from the retirement age) and prior to his appointment the FNM has agreed that he will be extended for 2 years to age 67.
This means that the people of The Bahamas who are faced with the worst economy and the highest misery index in living memory will now be further burdened with the cost of a By Election in Elizabeth, which will amount to more than $1 Million Dollars.
It means that the FNM is giving as political gifts the position of Supreme Court Justice, thereby attacking the institution of an independent judiciary.
It also means that the FNM would have determined to ignore the findings of the Election Court pointing out the lack of integrity of the Register of Voters. By any yardstick, the FNM would be holding an election on a register that has a question as to proper scrutiny will be striking at the very root of democracy.
The PLP will determine whether to participate in this madness would be supporting an immoral and constitutional travesty.
The PLP notes that Justice Cheryl Albury has been refused an extension to age 67. We cry shame on the FNM for its blatant discrimination against a competent female Bahamian Judge who is ready, willing and able to serve.
If Justice Albury’s tenure was extended, the Bahamian people will simply pay her salary and not a pension at this time. In refusing the extension of Justice Albury’s tenure while negotiating a behind the scenes political deal, for the appointment of Malcolm Adderley as a judge and the extension of his tenure before he is even appointed, the FNM would be adding another salary, pension and other perks onto the backs of an already overburdened Bahamian public.
Let Malcolm Adderley serve out his term in Parliament.
Do not strike deals behind closed doors, especially those that undermine confidence in the judiciary. Do not impose the cost of a By Election upon Bahamians who are struggling to pay school fees, mortgages, rent, and utilities and to buy groceries. The PLP and Bahamians everywhere hope that the FNM will stop this madness.
Enough is enough.