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halsonmoultrie

Saturday, May 21, 2022

halsonmoultrie

Mischief Makers Lose Seats in Parliament

Following the defeat of the Free National Movement at the polls, winners have emerged but none include the infamous parliamentarians who have openly defied the former government and its policies.

Former FNM members who became independent parliamentarians Reece Chipman and Halson Moultrie, and outspoken FNM MP Frederick McAlpine who was for years at odds with the party, all lost their seats in unofficial results.

Reece Chipman

Chipman has constantly criticized the government and has never supported its agenda. However, he still suffered politically.

Chipman was a newcomer to politics in 2017, running on the FNM ticket during the general elections, subsequently ousting former Prime Minister Perry Christie and winning a PLP stronghold.

Chipman voted against the VAT increase and the resolution to lease the Town Centre Mall from former Cabinet minister Brent Symonette.  He eventually resigned from the party in 2019 citing the government’s handling of Hurricane Dorian and partisan politics.

PLP Jomo Campbell replaces Chipman in Centerville.

Halson Moultrie

Moultrie received little votes in Nassau Village as constituents went with PLP Jamahl Strachan, instead.

Moultrie was an antagonistic voice in Parliament where he served as Speaker.  He resigned from the FNM in February of this year, but refused to resign as the Speaker of the House of Assembly.

Moultrie was a thorn in the side of the FNM government calling for autonomy of the House and upping his ante during the pandemic when he contrived an idea to hold an ‘open parliament’ after Parliament went on recess.

The Nassau Village MP gained the support of third parties like the Democratic National Alliance and the Coalition of Independents who joined him in his protest against the Minnis-led government and its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. But he did little to gain the support of his constituents.

Frederick McAlpine

McAlpine may have thought he was going to win Pineridge, but constituents replaced him with PLP Ginger Moxey.

He has been the most outspoken member of the FNM government, often hitting out at Minnis during his presentations in the House.

He ran as an independent candidate for the Pineridge constituency in this election after he did not receive the FNM nomination. Many still expected him to win his seat in Pineridge because of the loud support he garnered in spite of his opposition against his party members.

He has had a long and rather cold relationship with the FNM and said that members in his party wanted him gone while complaining that the party leader ignored him.

In a surprising move, Pineridge went with Moxey, despite McAlpine’s touts of his accomplishments in the area.

 

No One Shows Up for Moultrie’s ‘Open Parliament’

After House Speaker Halson Moultrie planned another session of ‘open parliament’ ahead of the General Election, no one showed up in Parliament Square.

Moultrie planned a second ‘open parliament’ for Wednesday, after advertising on social media, despite the dissolution of the House of Assembly.

The flyer advertising the ‘open parliament.’

Controversial Moultrie told Eye Witness News yesterday that the intended event is “the opportunity for the common man to come forward, to demand accountability, transparency, good governance, minimize corruption and access information. That is what open Parliament is all about,” he said.

“This open Parliament would be all about allowing the people to put on the record publicly their displeasure with the way this election is being conducted.”

However, no one showed up and people were seen packing up the empty chairs. Moultrie and Independent Centerville MP Reece Chipman were seen waiting for the expected crowd, but to no avail.

Moultrie’s first ‘open parliament’ was held on the same day the House was dissolved and was attended by various third-party members.

It is not known why Moultrie was not able to attract the crowd he did a few weeks ago.

The big picture

Moultrie and Chipman have broken off from the governing party and both are running as independent candidates in the upcoming General Elections.

Since their departure from the Free National Movement, Moultrie and Chipman have become outspoken and protested the policies of the government.

It remains to be seen if voters will stick with them when they cast their ballots.

Bain Turns Against Moultrie as United Coalition Party Announces Bid to Contest General Election

Leader of the Coalition of Independents Lincoln Bain seemed to have unfriended House Speaker Halson Moultrie, lambasting his poor representation of the Nassau Village constituency.

In a social media post, Bain turned on Moultrie, decrying his decision to install several manual water pumps in the Nassau Village community last year, which Moultrie said was done to help the less fortunate individuals in his constituency, so that residents could have access to water to fight COVID-19.

Bain said, “…as a Member of Parliament for Nassau Village, Halson Moultrie did not do a good job. I must be realistic, except for maybe putting come red pumps,  water pumps, hand pumps, in the 21st century. He put outdoor handpumps and painted them red in that community.”

Why it matters

Moultrie and Bain formed a friendship, bonded by their criticism of Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

Last week, Moultrie, an open critic of Minnis, joined forces with Bain and other third parties to hold an ‘open parliament’ to criticize the government.

However, the friendship changed on Tuesday when Moultrie joined the new party, United Coalition Party (UCP), which was formed to contest the next election.

Lincoln claims the UCP is supported by the Progressive Liberal Party and was created to confuse voters because the name is similar to his party’s.

New Coalition Group Formed to Challenge General Election

House Speaker and former Free National Movement MP Halson Moultrie joined third parties to form a coalition that would vie for the next government of the Bahamas.

According to a post by Eye Witness News, the United Coalition Party led by Cassius Stuart, leader of the Bahamas Democratic Movement, announced its formation today following days of negotiation with third parties.

In a picture, a controversial Moultrie is seen with Leader of the Bahamas Constitution Party Allie McIntosh and Leader of the Operation Sovereign Bahamas Adrian Francis behind a table, presenting themselves as members of this new political party.

Moultrie is one of a few FNM members who have left the party to become independent members.

Last week, Moultrie, a group of third parties and independent candidates gathered in Parliament Square, attempting to implement an ‘open parliament’, but their plans were squashed as Parliament was prorogued and eventually dissolved.

Instead, the group spewed anti-government rhetoric while criticizing Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

UCP is expected to finalize the list of candidates to run in the General Election.

Attempts to bring Arinthia Komolafe of the Democratic National Alliance and Lincoln Bain of the Coalition of Independents reportedly failed.

Picture credit: Eye Witness News

Moultrie’s Dream of ‘Open Parliament’ Becomes Political Rally

House Speaker Halson Moultrie’s ‘open parliament’ concept quickly turned into a rally as third-party candidates and independent members of parliament joined forces to disparage the government and its policies.

Two weeks ago, Moultrie announced his initiative for the public to express its grievances and said it was a move to show the independence of the House. Without support from the government, Moultrie attempted to launch ‘open parliament’ before it was revealed that the House would be prorogued, which came as a surprise to many.

Moultrie, Independent MP for Centerville Reece Chipman, Leader of the Coalition of Independents Lincoln Bain, former FNM Bamboo Town parliamentarian and leader of the Bahamas Democratic Movement Cassius Stuart and Democratic National Alliance Leader Arinthia Komolafe joined forces under a tent erected in Parliament Square, to preach their displeasure with the government.

Supporters dressed in their respective party colors crowded the tent, ignoring the social distancing protocol.

“Change ain’t coming. Change is here” the crowd shouted as Bain made his way to the podium.

“…I did not come here to deliver an eloquent speech, I came here to start a fight. Ladies and gentlemen, the only way to get our country in order is to start a fight.

“…It seems like when we talk, they don’t listen, so it’s time for us to start a fight,” Bain said.

Stuart then chanted the COI’s slogan and said the country needs a revolution, as he decried the country’s economic system. He asked, “How do we move forward? How do we build our nation?

“Stop depending on the foreign investors,” he said.

Komolafe said crime and the healthcare system continue to burden the country.

Pointing at the House of Assembly, she said, “That House right there is not working for us. It is now closed. Your concerns are not being heard and your concerns are not being addressed,” to shouts of agreement from her supporters.

Parliament Is Prorogued in a Shocking Move

Update: The Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle returned to the House of Assembly at two o’clock today, to read a second proclamation from Governor-General C.A Smith. Rolle announced that Parliament will resume on September 22.

The House of Assembly was prorogued this morning, one week after parliamentarians returned.

The Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle read the proclamation from the Governor-General.

“The Proclamation whereas by virtue of Article 66 (1) of the constitution, the Governor-General acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister may at any time by proclamation, prorogue Parliament. Cornelius A Smith, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, hereby prorogue Parliament as from the 18th day of August 2021.”

What it means

This means that the current session or a sitting of the House is suspended by an order of the prime minister.

The House was not dissolved, which would mean the House sessions have concluded and House business has come to an end.

The life of parliament still continues.

What the Speaker says

Controversial House Speaker Halson Moultrie said he was not surprised at the move as he had heard rumors of its possibility. But he called the move “unusual” since the Parliament reconvened last week to extend the state of emergency.

Moultrie, who resigned from the Free National Movement, said he had intentions to hold an ‘open parliament’ this morning where he said the public would express its grievances. The ‘open parliament’ was the Speaker’s initiative and was not supported by the government.

Third parties gathered in Parliament Square in preparation for the ‘open parliament’ but were left scrambling and confused after the proclamation of proroguing the House was read.

Moultrie said proroguing the House shows that Prime Minister Hubert Minnis is abusing his powers and the Cabinet is demonstrating it is ‘not answerable to the people.’

Moultrie said he will push harder for the separation of powers and for an independent parliament.

Parliament to Reconvene on Tuesday Instead

In a letter from the Chief Clerk of Parliament, the House of Assembly will reconvene on Tuesday and not September 22, as previously announced.

According to the letter, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis had spoken to House Speaker Halson Moultrie requesting that Parliament reassemble sooner “because of the resurgence of COVID-19.”

The big picture

Parliament recessed from June 21st to September 22, but House Speaker Halson Moultrie decried the decision.

Moultrie told reporters that the break prevents parliamentarians from effectively representing the concerns of their constituents and presented challenges by the House from supervising Cabinet’s activities and policies.

Moultrie then announced that he would hold an open Parliament in the Square starting Wednesday, for Bahamians to express their concerns and engage with the speaker or the clerk.

State of Play

The recent announcement by Chief Clerk David Forbes means Moultrie now has no need to hold the ‘open Parliament’ since House will reconvene on Tuesday.

 

 

 

Moultrie Dramatically Recites His Poem About Vengeance

House Speaker Halson Moultrie incorporated a poem of vengeance in his most recent speeches in the House of Assembly on Monday.

After the presentation by Ft Charlotte MP Mark Humes during the Budget Debate, in which Humes conceded that he will continue living although he was not renominated by the Free National Movement, Moultrie commended Humes saying, “You seem so happy in your presentation” adding that he admired “the joy” which Humes showed.

Surprised that Humes expressed no ill-will toward the party despite not being ratified, Moultrie then quoted a recent poem he had written, that expresses his retaliation.

Here’s the poem Moultrie wrote and quoted in the HOA

Every man’s origin is the womb
And every man’s destiny in the tomb
Life is the interval that exists between the womb and the tomb
So it is between the womb and the tomb, let no man presume that D Halson Moultrie was sent here to be consumed
For such an assumption is a rebuttable presumption
And any perception of a threat could lead to the acceleration of your own death
And while I don’t advocate the commissioning of a kind, I will get on my knees and say to the mind, and God help you if I have to pray over you, Psalm one, zero, nine.

The big picture

Moultrie is known for launching tirades in the House, often expressing his displeasure for the “disrespect” he believes the executive branch of government shows the parliament.

In February, Moultrie resigned from the Free National Movement, citing his personal convictions, and later stated that he will run as an independent candidate for the Nassau Village constituency in the upcoming general election.

 

Photo credit: The Nassau Guardian

 

Moultrie Calls Out PM and Abruptly Adjourns the House. Here’s Why

In a surprising move in the House of Assembly today, House Speaker Halson Moultrie suspended the House session, setting a new date for parliamentarians to meet after the clerk tested positive for COVID-19.

But before adjourning the House, he openly rebuked Prime Minister Hubert Minnis and Government Business Leader Renward Wells for permitting the House to meet despite the positive case among staff and the parliament not being sanitized before meeting.

Moultrie said he reached out to both Minnis and Wells to determine if House should still meet today, and determine the measures staff should take, only to receive a message from Minnis saying, “noted.”

Another staffer, who Moultrie said should have been in quarantine, Asharan Lightbourne was “called upon to be here this morning, in breach of the request or the instruction of the speaker that [she] should be in quarantine,” he said.

The big picture

Since the advent of COVID-19, Moultrie has been calling on the government to pass a resolution to meet in hybrid form or virtually to prevent chances of more parliamentarians from contracting the virus. But those calls were not adhered to.

Why it matters

A staff member tested positive for the virus. Though not identified, it is believed to be the chief clerk as he was noticeably absent today. The Speaker described the staffer as the “closest person to him in the House.”

The staffer came to work on Monday and Tuesday showing symptoms of the virus, but returned home early after not feeling well. However, came back to work last week Wednesday when parliamentarians met.

His positive diagnosis was revealed yesterday.

What Moultrie is saying

Moultrie said parliament is in breach of its own order. “This is my final straw when it comes to the disrespect of the speaker. According to the rules, when the behaviour of a member is creating disorder, the speaker is authorized by rule 88, subsection 9 to adjourn the parliament until the circumstance is fixed,” he said.

“I don’t pick fights or wars, but if you want war, you will get a war. If you don’t want a war, don’t start one.”

Referencing Minnis who earlier stated that he read a book on wars, Moultrie continued, “So don’t come in this parliament talking about reading books of war. More than one person in this parliament read books of war.”

State of play

Because of the adjournment by Moultrie, the next session of the House will be May 3 at 10 am.

Moultrie is a Case of Sour Grapes, Leaving a Bad Taste?

Since Independent House Speaker Halson Moultrie’s exit from the Free National Movement, he has created quite a stir, revealing a private conversation he’s had with Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

Moultrie appeared on The Hit Back with Nahaja Black, disclosing the government’s intent to call an early election in 4 to 5 months, and further divulging Minnis’ plan to send him as an ambassador to London in an effort to shuffle the party and its candidates as it prepares for general election, whenever that may be.

Moultrie’s revelation comes after he resigned from the governing party, opting to become an independent member of parliament. He cited the lack of “autonomy and independence of the legislature and judiciary, accountability and transparency, freedom of information and respect for the constitution” as a reasoning for his departure from the party.

But his decision came as no surprise as Moultrie has often lambasted the government as House speaker, recently criticizing the government for the condition of his office, complaining of the mold and inoperable bathroom facility. He said he will not “sit here idly by as the presiding officer of this Parliament and accept such conditions.”

Moultrie once hit out at Minnis, while claiming there was no discord in the party, suggesting that the prime minister was acting like a “demigod – like a person who is a maximum leader, a person who could just dictate,” he told reporters in November.

Moultrie’s behavior is similar to that of former minister of Health Duane Sands, who turned on the party after his resignation from the Cabinet post. Though Sands remained with the party, he criticized his party at every term, questioning the government’s vaccine rollout plan and its emergency orders in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One month after his resignation in May, Sand’s derision for his party went as far back as the passage of the Hurricane Dorian, accusing the government and other ministries of deleting hundreds of names from the list of missing people, without explanation, although the apparent removal of names would have occurred when he was the minister of health.

But unlike Sands, Moultrie’s gripe with the party has done nothing to help his public image. He is already known as a poor representative for the Nassau Village constituency, where area residents feel like he has neglected them, providing no meaningful change for the area. If he was ratified as a candidate for the area, it is almost guaranteed the government would lose that seat.

Sands, on the other hand, has grown as a good representative for Elizabeth Estates, often seen canvassing and cleaning the area and seemed to be well-liked by the constituents. The government has a good chance of winning this seat, though he has yet to be ratified like other members of his party.

It remains to be seen what will be Moultrie’s next move, whether he will run as an independent candidate for the Nassau Village constituency or retire from politics, which may be a better option.