Parliament could be prorogued today
Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle, acting in his capacity as provost marshal, could announce the prorogation of Parliament as early as today as the Minnis Administration seeks to thwart efforts by rogue House Speaker Halson Moultrie to hold an open parliament.
The aim of the open parliament is to give disgruntled citizens an opportunity to publicly air their grievances.
A United States-based firm overseeing the Free National Movement’s re-election bid has also advised Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to announce the dissolution of Parliament and to call an early General Election before the Minnis Administration becomes embroiled in another controversy.
However, party insiders have cast doubt on whether Minnis would take heed.
According to article 66 of the Constitution, “The governor general, acting in accordance with the advice of the prime minister may at any time by proclamation, prorogue Parliament.”
Opposing parties are calling for Minister of Health Renward Wells’ head on a political platter after he revealed in a recorded video on Monday that he asked his driver and his secretary, both of whom are his first cousins, to return an over $1,100 honorarium they received from the Ministry of Health while hundreds of frontline workers received the same amount or nothing at all.
By asking them to return the money, Wells admitted that his driver and secretary should not have received a payment in the first place as they are not considered frontline workers and Wells was not Minister of Health during the first wave of the pandemic – a qualifying factor for recipients of the honorarium, according to Wells.
Foreign advisors told Minnis it is also their view that Wells should resign as Minister of Health as this controversy deepens public mistrust in the government during an election season. However, those close to Minnis doubt he will throw Wells under the bus as the Bamboo Town MP remained loyal to Minnis when he was ousted as Opposition Leader.
Since its overwhelming victory in 2017, the Minnis Administration has been dogged by multiple resignations. Minister of Immigration Brent Symonette, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle have all resigned amid allegations of corruption that were never fully addressed by the prime minister.
The FNM has also fallen out with some members who quit the party, including Centreville MP Reece Chipman, Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller and Moultrie, who represents the Nassau Village constituency.
Now, in the midst of an election season, the government is battling a nearly weeklong sickout in the public healthcare sector as doctors and teachers also threaten to withhold their services.
There may also be trouble brewing in the public service as government workers, who have not received an increment in two years, will not receive all of the money owed to them at the end of the month despite a promise from Minister of Public Service Brensil Rolle.
The FNM’s campaign team has advised the party leader to cut his losses and call an election before the FNM falls even more out of favor with voters.