Sunday, November 29, 2020

Moultrie Hands Over Office Key. What Changed and What Happens Next?

House Speaker Halson Moultrie turned in office keys to the chief clerk of the House of Assembly after 3-years of complaint about a ‘run-down’ office space.

Since Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced that Cabinet will not meet in its office due to a leaking roof, Moultrie renewed a call for the government to renovate his office, giving an ultimatum.

Moultrie promised that he would hand in the keys on October 31st, if nothing was done to correct a leaking roof, mould, lack of bathroom facility and running water and an office that he says is deemed a security risk.

And he did just that on Friday.

Leader of Government Business Renward Wells said in the House, that the government would address Moultrie’s concerns. But that has not happened yet as most members remain quarantined. Minister of Works Desmond Bannister promised in 2017 that the the ground floor of the Senate building will be renovated to accommodate the Speaker’s office.

Is Halson Moultrie still Speaker of the House?

Yes. Moving out of an office space has nothing to do with his position as House Speaker. He has not resigned from the position. So, he remains Speaker.

In fact, Moultrie said he has no intentions on resigning. Halson said, “I made it very clear that I will not be resigning as Speaker.”

The parliamentary proceedings will continue and Moultrie will continue to function with respect to the administrative functions.

However, if the government wishes to have Moultrie removed, house meetings will be discontinued for a given period of time and house will bring a vote of no confidence against him.

Can Moultrie resign from the FNM party and continue to serve as Speaker?

It was surprising for many to hear Moultrie lambast his government for its handling of the issue and some members of the public suggested that he resign from the party while sitting as a Speaker.

But this cannnot be done. Moultrie serves at the priviledge of the Prime Minister who appointed him. If Moultrie resigns from the party, he will be removed as Speaker of the House.

He was elected from among the members of parliament who won their seats in the 2017 general election.

At the next House’s sitting, Moultrie will still be speaker.

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