PM: It’s okay to break the law (if your initials are HAM)
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, who appears hell bent on going down in history as one of the most power hungry and undemocratic prime ministers in The Bahamas, warned the Parliament today that the government may be faced with making decisions that are unconstitutional in the future. This statement seemed to shock even government members of parliament who stood up and asked the competent authority to clarify.
As he extended his powers by an additional two months, Minnis argued that the country would have been thriving and major hotels would be open today if the government had banned Bahamians from traveling when borders opened three weeks ago.
However, he conceded that “to make such a decision would have been considered unconstitutional.”
“I would have been accused, and the government would have been accused of being the most dictatorial government,” Minnis said.
Going forward, he warned that governments may have to make “discriminatory or unconstitutional decisions” that anger their citizens.
Is he serious?
In a country where Bahamians have been locked up and marched before the courts for selling fish or coconut water to support their families, being in the vicinity of those selling fish and walking to their community pump to get water, is the competent authority now suggesting it’s okay to break the law and breach the constitution if you believe you are acting in the public’s best interest?
What message is he sending to Bahamians? Is he now giving all Bahamians in the country permission to follow his lead or does this outlandish rule only apply to the Maximum Leader and his inner circle?
Should we now expect the commissioner of police to follow suit and disregard the law when locking up citizens?
One Bahamian took to social media to vent his frustration and opined, “This is the most hog wash. Had I made it possible for tourists to come while keeping Bahamians locked in, we would be fine. I was scared of making the "right decision" because I would be accused of dictatorial behavior or being unconstitutional. I may have to make unconstitutional decisions later. I have yet to hear how the 72 hour policy is and was dumb and self defeating or how letting tourists come from hotspots were not the problem considering how many "slipped in." Nothing is ever his fault and now he is floating the idea of breaking the constitutional limits. Boy, he good.”
Another wrote, “This is absolute nonsense.”
Another voter said, “Blame Bahamians is all this government does.”
Minnis is no stranger to pushing legal boundaries. On Tuesday, he announced that Grand Bahama’s borders would be closed to domestic and international travel that night. However, he never told residents that if they left the island before then, they would be forced to sit on an aircraft over an hour after it landed, piled into police buses against their will then driven to a government quarantine facility which some passengers described as a nightmare.
Where in the Emergency Orders does it speak to quarantining Grand Bahama passengers?
He also made the discriminatory decision to shut down Arawak Cay and Potter’s Cay Dock until further notice making grown men with families to support cry.
Minnis is playing a dangerous game and using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse.