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.