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memberofparliament

Saturday, July 2, 2022

memberofparliament

Adrian Gibson Bribery Allegations: What We Know about the Charges

Long Island MP Adrian Gibson was among six people charged in the Magistrates Court on Monday. He faced multiple charges of bribery, which come as no surprise following weeks of questioning by the Central Detective Unit.

Adrian Gibson heading to court to face charges

The Free National Movement Member of Parliament was the former Chairman of the Water and Sewage Corporation under the Minnis-led administration. Gibson was a constant critic of Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip Davis, who served as Minister of Works with responsibility for the water company under the Christie-led administration.

Though the FNM was ousted at the polls, Gibson managed to hold on to his seat in a constituency known for its support for the party. After the Progressive Liberal Party was elected, questions arose about Gibson’s conduct and affairs at the corporation.

An audit of the corporations revealed that questionable contracts were issued and Ministry of Works Minister Alfred Sears revealed that the matter was turned over to the police.

What are the charges against Gibson?

Adrian Gibson faces 56 charges. These include:

  • One count of false declaration which allegedly occurred on August 23, 2021
  • Conspiracy to commit bribery which allegedly occurred between June 23, 2020 and July 7, 2021
  • Dishonestly receiving more than $1.2 million for a landscaping contract issued to Elite Maintenance
  • Multiple counts of money laundering with a cousin and his campaign manager.
    • 5 counts of conspiracy to commit bribery
    • 6 counts of money laundering with cousin Rashae Gibson
    • 16 counts of money laundering with Campaign Manager Joan Knowles, among others.

Bail was granted at $150,000. He and the others will return to court on September 14 for the Service of a Voluntary Bill of Indictment.

What the FNM says after the charges

Leader of the Free National Movement Michael Pintard says his party stands with Gibson who remains in “good standing” with the party and is “an active and important member of our parliamentary caucus.”

Pintard says Gibson is innocent until he is proven guilty and the party will ensure his rights are not abused. “We remain resolute in our position that at the end of this process, justice and truth shall prevail.”

It’s Official. Pintard Joins FNM Leadership Race

After weeks of speculations, Marco City MP Michael Pintard has officially announced his leadership bid for party leader of the Free National Movement.

In an official social media post, Pintard is set to launch his campaign on Wednesday at the British Colonial Hilton at 8 pm.

The poster says, “Be a part of the movement to rebuild, reconnect and reignite.”

This announcement comes after two FNM Members of Parliament Kwasi Thompson and Iram Lewis announced their bid for the party leadership.

Pintard, Thompson and Lewis are all members of parliament from Grand Bahama, and are seeking election to replace Party Leader Hubert Minnis who stayed on as party leader. Minnis leads the opposition in Parliament until the party’s convention is held on November 27.

Fifty-six-year-old Pintard is said to be a strong contender for the position as reports say he has gathered support from delegates as he seeks to reunify the party and bring FNMs back into the fold, many who may have strayed.

Following the FNM’s defeat at the polls on September 16, it was suggested many of its voters stayed home and may have lost confidence in Minnis. Only 7 FNM candidates returned to the House of Assembly. The other 32 seats were won by the Progressive Liberal Party.

Pintard was a former Cabinet minister in the Minnis-led administration where he served as Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture.

 

 

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 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.

Why Chester Cooper Is Against Exuma’s Strict Measures

After Prime Minister Hubert Minnis implemented restricted measures for Exuma following a rise in COVID-19 cases, area representative Chester Cooper is speaking out against one aspect of the measure that he believes will “dramatically shift the state of everyday life on Exuma”– the weekend lockdowns.

“While the rapid rise in cases on Exuma is very troubling and some restrictive measures may be warranted to slow the spread, I do not support full weekend lockdowns.

“Had anyone in Cabinet bothered to ask my advice, I would have been happy to assist,” he said.

Why it matters

  • Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said there is an exponential increase in cases on that island following the October holiday weekend and two major social events.
  • Over the past week, Exuma has recorded 30 new confirmed cases of COVID-19.
  • As of Tuesday, the 10th of November, a total of 79 positive cases of COVID-19 were recorded on the island of Exuma. Of that number, 28 cases are active, two are hospitalized, and there has been one COVID-19 related death.

Reasons why Chester Cooper says he opposes weekend lockdowns

  • They are too blunt an instrument for the situation as it stands.
  • Exuma is just now experiencing some relief on the tourism front after months of lingering in the economic doldrums.
  • Exuma has international flights now coming in from Florida and North Carolina on Saturdays.
  • And Exuma was experiencing serious interest in domestic travel from New Providence before the quarantine was reinstated.
  • Not only will this damage our brand internationally, but it will further starve Exuma’s economy of vital tourism dollars.

What PM Minnis says

Dr. Minnis acknowledged that it was short notice as the measures come into effect on Thursday, but he said the measure is a critical part of the strategy to contain and to control the spread of COVID-19 throughout the country. He said this measure is designed to stop possible spikes on other islands because of individuals who may be COVID 19 positive, quickly moving to other islands.

What’s the plan?

The strategies employed by our health officials are as follows:

  • When there is an exponential increase in new confirmed cases of COVID-19 over a short period of time, restrictive measures will be put in place to mitigate the spread in that location.
  • The number of health officials on Exuma has increased, including a team consisting of contact tracers and members of the surveillance unit will be deployed to Exuma on Friday for further assessment.

Travis Robinson Delivers HOA Speech on Facebook. He Feels Slighted. What Happened?

Bain and Grants Town Member of Parliament Travis Robinson said he is disappointed in the House of Assembly after he said he was prevented from contributing to the Bail and Jury Acts, which were passed in the House on Wednesday afternoon.

So, Robinson took to social media to express his disappointment and to read the intended speech.

Robinson said he feels, “stifled” and “hindered,” calling it “an attack on democracy.”

Members of Parliament Elsworth Johnson, Lanisha Rolle, Marvin Dames, Philip Davis, Reece Chipman all contributed to the bill.

What Travis Robinson said happened?

Robinson said he was expected to debate the Bail and Jury Acts on Wednesday afternoon at 3:30, according to an HOA speaking list.

Instead, Robinson said the HOA moved to the third reading and passage of the bill at 2 pm, not giving him notice that he will be unable to speak.

What should have happened?

Robinson said he should have been notified.

Instances like this, Robinson said the parliamentarian is called to indicate that the House will move to the afternoon session and he or she is told that they should make their way to the House in a specified period of time.

What will happen next?

Robinson said he is looking forward to what is to come since airing the issue on social media, adding that he does not know what the end result will be.

But Robinson said he will not allow anyone to disrespect his constituents, whom he represents.

Robinson admonished young people to demand respect and not allow anyone to disrespect them because of age.

“I will not lie down and play dead…If you disrespect Travis Robinson, I don’t care. But you will not disrespect Bain and Grant’s Town,” he said.

Featured Picture: Tribune

How Long Island Confirmed It’s First Case of COVID-19

Long Island has recorded its first case of the coronavirus, confirmed by its MP Adrian Gibson.
Gibson said the first case is a close relative.

What is known?

The first case is a male. It is not known how he contracted the virus as he has no recent history of travel.

The man found out his condition after attending doctors in New Providence for another matter and was then informed of the COVID-19 infection.

“We were advised of this diagnosis yesterday. We do not know how he contracted the virus. He has no recent history of travel and he is mostly home-based,” Gibson said.
The man is presently in hospital, in stable condition.

What is suspected?

Gibson suspected that the relative contracted the virus as a result of newcomers to the island. He said people unfamiliar to the islanders have frequented Long Island communities and have been seen throughout the island.

“These persons have either not lived in Long Island for years or have come to Long Island because of its now formerly COVID-free status and the lack of a curfew/lockdown,” he said.
Gibson added that recent deaths on Long Island are also subject to review by health officials.

Gibson’s advice?

The Long Island MP said he strongly advises against inter-island travel, except for medical or emergency reasons.
He urged residents to report anyone coming to Long Island without permission, without a test, and who are not in quarantine, and not to allow visitors to their homes.
“I am advised that such travel – and interaction with Long Islanders by outsiders – has resulted in potential community spread and the need for several other persons to be tested.”
The Ministry of Health confirmed on Sunday night that there are 32 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2,167.
Three additional deaths are now under investigation, with a tally of thirteen unclassified deaths.