extension

Monday, January 25, 2021

extension

Minnis Hints at Extension of Emergency Order Until Vaccine Availability

In Prime Minister Hubert Minnis’s New Years National address on Wednesday, many Bahamians expected an announcement of relaxation of COVID-19 measures.

Instead, Minnis cautioned a tightening of measures if the COVID-19 cases rise before the arrival of vaccines into the country.

“It is possible that cases will rise again before vaccines arrive,” he said. “If this happens, as a government and people, we will have to return to some of the measures that worked to beat back previous waves.

“Through our experience during the pandemic year, we now know the formula that works. Tough times do not scare us. Difficult circumstances do not break our resolve,” he said.

Some social media posters were critical of the address, asking for Dr. Minnis to address when the COVID-19 restrictions will be further relaxed.

However, Minnis emphasized in his address that the reopening of the country depends on the successful distribution of the vaccine, which he expects in the coming months.

“Thankfully, because there are now successful vaccines for COVID-19, our country, and our economy, are set to reopen more fully in the months ahead.

“The end is in sight. Restrictions will end. We will get back to our way of life. Jobs and the economy, are coming back, he promised.

This means the emergency order is expected to extend beyond January 31, 2021.

In November of last year, the House of Assembly passed a resolution for a two-month extension of the emergency order.

Minnis at the time said when the emergency orders help in lowering cases, the restrictive measures will be reversed, permitting residents to live a more normal life.

Moultrie in Spat With Davis Denies Reports of Minnis Acting Like a ‘Demigod’

House Speaker Halson Moultrie  said the media reports that he referenced the competent authority as a “demigod,” is “false.”

Moultrie’s comments came in the House of Assembly on Thursday during the debate on the extension of the emergency order to January 31.

Opposition Leader Philip Davis while arguing against the renewed emergency order, said it gave the impression that Prime Minister Hubert Minnis was someone of divine status.

Davis said, “There is a view emerging that the member (competent authority) might be a demigod.”

The issue is, the label “demigod” was attributed to Moultrie as reporters spoke to him on the sideline of a constiutency event. Moultrie then called for the autonomy of Parliament, which he believes is held hostage by Cabinet.

He told reporters at the time, “We have developed situations where the leader or the prime minister in these jurisdictions can function like a demigod–like a person who is maximum leader, a person who could dictate.”

When PLP Leader Philip Davis used the term to describe Minnis in the House, Moultrie then presumed that Davis was underhandedly using the words attributed to him as quoted in the newspaper, to describe the competent authority.

Moultrie said, “You are sliding down a slippery slope. It is clear what the honorable member for Cat Island and San Salvador is attempting to do. And what you are attempting to do, you are trying to attribute something to a member in this parliament (Moultrie himself) that was falsely reported in the newspaper. And so I would advise you to…

Davis then interrupted and said, “I said emerging. I never attributed that comment to anyone. I didn’t ask. I said a view is emerging that the member may be a demigod. I attributed that to no one.”

“If you feel as if I’m talking about what you have been saying, that’s not it.”

Many Bahamians have expressed issue with the competent authority as they say he is operating without the consent of the Cabinet and solely by his own authority.