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Rollins Quits The Plp

Andre Rollins in the House of Assembly.

Andre Rollins in the House of Assembly.

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

FORT Charlotte MP Dr Andre Rollins quit the Progressive Liberal Party last night, explaining that it was obvious he was no longer wanted in the party after government members made several attempts to block him from contributing to the budget debate in the House of Assembly. Dr Rollins said that while he had had no prior intention yesterday of resigning from the party last night, he “would be a fool” to call himself a PLP after the “way I was treated in here tonight”.

He added that based on the PLP’s current trajectory, the party had no chance of winning the next election. It was one of several scathing critiques from Dr Rollins about the PLP’s performance in office over the past three years.

His departure from the governing party has come a little more than a week after Marco City MP Greg Moss quit the PLP, citing leadership issues at both the party and executive level.

Dr Rollins denied growing speculation that he had plans to form a new political party with other disgruntled backbenchers. While he did not say if he would join the Free National Movement, he stressed that this country needs a strong opposition to keep the government’s feet to the fire.

“There is all of this speculation about me being interested in forming a new political party,” he said. “I want to dispel that idea out right, sir, and I also want to say for the record that I had no intention of coming in here tonight to offer any resignation.

“Our country’s future, Mr Speaker, is too important to me to entertain any thought of experimenting with a new political party. It is clear to me and many Bahamians, I believe, that this government needs a strong and focused opposition to ensure that the interests of our country are protected. We are reaping this poor harvest in part because the government does not fear the opposition and does not feel threatened by them. Hence it is behaving with the arrogance of a dictatorship, doing as it pleases without any accountability or transparency.

“This government needs a unified political opposition if it is to have any chance at effectively governing our country between now and the next general election. It means, Mr Speaker, that egos must be checked and those who really mean this country well must put their differences aside and become a unified force if this country is to become the strong country we need it to be.

“This country will not be well served by a divided and weak opposition, faced with a government prepared to run roughshod over dissenting voices and opposition groups.

“In closing Mr Speaker, to quote the great William Shakespeare, ‘parting is such sweet sorrow, that I should bid goodnight ‘til it be ‘morrow.’ I resign as a member of the Progressive Liberal Party, Mr Speaker, because it is clear to me that there is no interest in having me be a part of the Progressive Liberal Party and I would be a fool to come back in this place and say that I’m a member of the PLP after how I was treated in here tonight. So thank you to the people of Fort Charlotte for allowing me to serve, and may God bless the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.”

During his speech, Dr Rollins attacked the government on several fronts, accusing it of being undemocratic and not aligned with the views of young Bahamians.

He said PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts previously told him that he and Mr Moss would not receive a nomination from the PLP.

“My response is simple, Mr Speaker, the PLP on its current trajectory stands zero chance of being re-elected as government. Only the ignorance of Mr Roberts’ arrogance could prevent him from recognising his role in the PLP’s declining popularity.”

Uproar

The drama began earlier in the session, when Deputy Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis raised a motion to close the budget debate, meaning Dr Rollins would not have been able to make his contribution.

At first it appeared as though Mr Davis was about to make a speech and Dr Rollins said he did not stand earlier because he did not want to disrespect the more senior member.

However, Mr Davis said he was not going to speak and that it was within his right to move for the vote to close the debate because “all of the minority members of the House of Assembly have spoken” and Dr Rollins’ intentionally missed his opportunity to speak.

Dr Rollins then accused the government of attempting to stifle freedom of speech and said that they were all afraid of what he had to say.

He then invited Prime Minister Perry Christie to “release him as a member of the PLP” so he would be able to make a contribution.

Mr Christie then rose to his feet and denied that he was attempting to interfere with Dr Rollin’s freedom. In fact, Mr Christie said Dr Rollins was given an opportunity to speak earlier but decided “he would do it on his time.”

Mr Christie said he would not let the government be held “hostage” by Dr Rollins.

After about 20 minutes of back and forth with several other MPs rising to their feet to argue the point, House Speaker Dr Kendal Major decided to take a recess to make a decision.

Nearly 30 minutes later, Dr Major allowed Dr Rollins to make his contribution saying, “his heart would not let him stop a member from speaking.”

“We have had 40 hours and more of debate, the member (Dr Rollins) has chosen to absent himself without notice,” Dr Major said.

“On the face of it the member certainly may be requesting unusual privileges in this regard, however the rule, as I mentioned speaks to what the member can do and I am a bit constrained to the extent that within the precedent and status quo of this session, unless there is violation of the rules of this House I have taken the view that every member has a right speak in a debate and so I am uncomfortable denying any member who is present, willing and able to speak.

“In my heart I could not be comfortable denying the member to speak and yes I am constrained by the rules however my heart says if I do not allow the member, it may be abuse. So I am not going to allow any member to tell me I can be constrained by any rules at this time. I will not allow it. I will allow the member to speak.”

Comments

birdiestrachan 5 years, 3 months ago

Mr: Rollins had his chance to speak, he did not attend the house meetings and he did not have the good manners to inform the house or the Speaker about why he was absent. He is a rude disrespectful man. Rollins wanted to speak When he Rollins wanted to speak And as far as Doctor Minnis sitting besides him He has never sat besides him before so why now.?? They said Minnis was instructing him. But this is the same Minnis who questioned Rollins Manhood.. And Minnis if he has any sense at all he will not welcome Rollins nor Moss into the FNM Party. There is a new Party perhaps they can join that one. If they are desperate.

I am thankful to the Tribune for presenting both sides.

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newcitizen 5 years, 3 months ago

Birdie, you are blind to logic and reason. You are a perfect example of the problem this country faces when trying to select competent and qualified leaders. Your interests lay more in the colour of your shirt than the well-being of your neighbour.

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proudloudandfnm 5 years, 3 months ago

Well now Birdie it would appear the PLP was wrong. Every MP has the right to speak. That is exactly why we vote them in.

The PLP simply hate freedom. They want to ruin our country with no challenges. They are the worst government we have ever had and they are communists.

I cannot wait for that party to be shut out come 2017.....

This country needs at least 20 years without a PLP government.....

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 3 months ago

I was standing with Doctor Major before I learned that Rollins missed his chance to speak.. He seemed to have planed that he was going to speak at that time. The FNM rejoice at the disrespectful Rollins. But Rollins will learn soon enough that what ever he sows he will reap. He may be young now. But if he is lucky he will become old and quickly. and nobody will respect him. The PLP should be glad to see Rollins and Moss go their own way. I am wondering if they are men why not give up their seats.?

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Sickened 5 years, 3 months ago

It is not just the FNM who are rejoicing Dr. Rollins' manhood. ALL sensible, god fearing and honest Bahamians are rejoicing his ability to stand against corruption. Only PLP's (and more than a few FNM MP's) have a problem with morality and integrity.

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Publius 5 years, 3 months ago

You weren't standing with a soul. Now have the seat you had all along on this issue.

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Girly 5 years, 3 months ago

Judas Iscariot's are on the loose. All parties beware.

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caribguy 5 years, 3 months ago

Say what you will about the House Speaker, but I think he ruled fairly in this matter. Dr. Rollins did deserve his chance to speak and speak he did. He will now serve out the remainder of his time in the House as an Independent (or not, he may join the FNM), and most likely be a harsher critic of the government than even the Opposition may be. He will then almost certainly lose in the next general election (if he chooses to run) and fade into obscurity where he belongs.

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 3 months ago

Proudfnm what more can one expect from you??. The man was given his chance to speak no one was stopping him from speaking . He chose not to come to the house when he was suppose to speak. And he did not have the good manners to notify the speaker of his reason. I doubt he went to any Doctor. He made that story up. Moss and Rollins will be good for no party. Proud FNM invite him to your party I believe he will be good for you all. in fact he will be better than any one you all have right now.

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Economist 5 years, 3 months ago

Dr. Rollins please see what you can workout with Bran McCartney.

We need a young and fresh approach with a group of young Bahamians. The old, not older but old (60 +) generation, the senior citizens had their chance.

We need you to fix this mess. And it is a big mess.

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 3 months ago

Mr; McCartney has already said they will not be welcomed in his party. at least it was reported in the news media. can you imagine Bran and Rollins and Moss in the same party it will not work, They are too much alike. They just may end up killing each other. they are all to full of themselves. There will be too many kings sitting around the DNA Table.

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Publius 5 years, 3 months ago

And if he actually had a true and democratic Party, he alone would not be able to make that decision since Party membership is not decided on by one individual; so his commentary back then was telling in and of itself.

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Observer 5 years, 3 months ago

Good news? Now what is to follow him?

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Observer 5 years, 3 months ago

The huge problem that most of the "young, want-to-be politicians" have is, they don't know politics.

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Sickened 5 years, 3 months ago

It's that they DO know politics and they don't like how corrupt the system is. They try to change it but the only advice they get from the old warts in politics is "take the bribe money and shut up".

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newcitizen 5 years, 3 months ago

I'd rather good policy than good politics. The old don't know good policy.

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Economist 5 years, 3 months ago

The young have ideals, they are not yet corrupted by what you call "politics". Our political system is corrupt and needs a cleaning.

Rather some young novices to the same old corrupt dead heads.

Yes, they will make mistakes, but how much worse could they do than the current old guard who know politics? The old guard that is ruining our country.

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Honestman 5 years, 3 months ago

The only thing I don't get is why Rollins aligned himself with this party of jokers in the first place? Wasn't he aware of their history? It seems that Christie and his henchmen did their level best to stop Rollins from making his contribution but finally the pressure from his own conscience was too much for the House Speaker to bear and on this occasion he just couldn't force himself to do his party's bidding. For that he deserves some credit.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 3 months ago

And so the noose rightfully tightens around Christie's neck. Never for a moment did Christie ever give a flying XXXX about the ideals, aspirations and political careers of Moss and Rollins, and there are a few others like them who have yet to come to their senses and realize that they have no future career in active politics if they remain tied to Christie's hip.

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TalRussell 5 years, 3 months ago

Comrades da truth is all worms wiggles but not likes them recently political party disenfranchised wormiest who thinks they's has tunnel down deep into da soil of a particular political party, if they wish fulfill their ambitions of sitting as MP's up in People's Honourable House Assembly. Being not man's or woman's enough win their seat as Independent representatives of people.
But how far down is far enough and what do political worms do for the very people who elected them when they reach da honurable house......nothing and once their party starts ignore them, once again done ready start go digging deep down into another political party's philosophy, or starts their own- cuz they possesses no independent sell-able political philosophy of they's own.
Even Papa Hubert had latch onto the long-held political philosophy of Comrade Cecil Wallace-Whitfield.

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MartGM 5 years, 3 months ago

Ughhhhh!! Rollins is only a mouth piece. He has done NOTHING in the constituency of Fort Charlotte. Absolutely nothing!! For as large a youth population as is in that constituency, this man has not helped to facilitate a single event, he has not helped with the up keep of the parks in the area, he has not ensured that after school care and classes were maintained, nor held community meetings (with the exception of those mini plp rallies attended by 5 or 6 plps).

He is not what we need in this country. We do not need another man that just spews at the mouth every chance he gets and does NOTHING about our situation. When we speak about these people, we need to be aware of the whole picture.

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banker 5 years, 3 months ago

Tempest in a teapot that means nothing to the well-being of the Bahamas.

Interesting to see the comments of those who denigrate Rollins because he quit and slammed the door on his way out. Words like "traitor" are awfully strong, because it implies that Rollins should have swallowed his pride, brought his manhood on a plate to Mad Brad, and toed the party line. He couldn't abide the party and voted with his feet. There is nothing traitorous about that and sometimes the patriotic thing to do, is to do your utmost to bring down a contemptible, slimy, corruption-ridden kleptocracy of those bottom-feeders and sub-humans who don't deserve the right to be called "Honourable".

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SP 5 years, 3 months ago

.............. Well Said Banker! ...... Couldn't Say It Better Myself! ............

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MartGM 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't see him as a traitor at all. It's impressive that a young man stood up for himself. I can applaud him. However, how do you expect him to be a productive and active member of the House when his constituency is rife with a dynamic set of young people who only know about drugs and the gang life.

Rollins had an opportunity to really empower these people through any number of means, and he chose to sit in the House of Assembly and bicker and complain while his people continue to dig themselves deeper and deeper into poverty.

You can't expect anyone to respect you when say one thing and do another. I am neither an FNM or PLP fan, but I have always respected Mr. Ingraham, if for no other reason than as he said himself, "I say what I mean and I mean what I say". Rollins certainly, cannot say the same as his language says one thing and his actions dictate another. A man's actions will always speak volumes. Take a walk in his constituency and speak to his people, whether you ask the upper middle class in the white grove or the more impoverished people and they will all say the same thing. He has done NOTHING!!!

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Economist 5 years, 3 months ago

Little do people read history. The famous British Prime Minister Winston Churchill crossed the floor twice.

We need to grow up.

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Economist 5 years, 3 months ago

What about Senator John Connally who was the Texas Governor who was shot with JFK in Nov 1963? He was a Democrat and in 1973 joined the Republican party.

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TalRussell 5 years, 3 months ago

Comrade Banker you left out how the once powerful and politically mighty former Comrade Governor John, later went on in 1986 to file for bankruptcy, or the part about how da former governor known be an immaculate dresser who wore expensive and stylish suits wherever he went would also carry an expensive gold plated cigarette lighter in his pocket and lighting cigarettes as a courtesy only for very wealthy men who might be inclined to contribute to his political causes or retain him as a consultant.
Comrade Banker, I sure hopes you're not suggesting Dr. Andre does go out shopping buy himself one them expensive gold-plated cigarette lighters?

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banker 5 years, 3 months ago

I didn't say anything about Connally -- it was Economist. The only thing that I know about Connally was that he was injured in the Kennedy assassination.

Speaking of immaculate dresser, y'all seen Kenyatta Gibson lately?

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TalRussell 5 years, 3 months ago

Comrade Banker, didn't Kenyatta also leave the PLP to join the FNM under Papa Hubert? In fact back then he was but one younger PLP to wash their hands of Christie? Whatever happened politically to that PLP bunch young one's? In fact he might have been the one who accused Christie of acting God-like? But previously he also had some choice name calling for Papa too. You go figure these young one's out cuz I is confused.

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banker 5 years, 3 months ago

Actually the big man (Kenyatta) has his azz whupped and handed to him on a plate by Keod Smith, who is a dwarf, but a dwarf that knows karate. It was the famous fight in the Cabinet cabinet room. ( Kenyatta's woman is one fine looking woman too! )

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Stapedius 5 years, 3 months ago

Kenyatta is one big oaf. Speaking of Rollins, he has every right to leave. A man must follow his conscience. But I would have to agree with some of the comments above. Being an MP doesn't mean he had to give handouts to his constituents. None of our politicians seem to get it. Apparently Rollins totally neglected his constituents. Now, one could argue all of our politicians do. But he's the one jumping up in the media and he's the one resigning so he has to take what criticism comes with it. I believe if he runs as an independent there or anywhere he will lose. Not because he's an independent but he cannot be trusted. The way he and Wells joined the plp was shady after having over and repeatedly lambasted them when they were NDP. I lost respect for both the moment they joined. I would never vote for Rollins. He claims he is speaking on behalf of the Bahamian youth. Well who told him a lie? It is my firm belief that the old crew we've seen for the last 40 years need to call curtains. But Rollins needs to come again.

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 3 months ago

No one can disagree that both Moss and Rollins were given a chance in the Government. NIB and The gaming Board. They messed up big time. Rollins is a RUDE boy. He shows no respect If one is unable to go to work. they call their jobs or have some one call . You are not allowed to just stay home Rollins is no different. There are rules. He knew when he was suppose to speak he choose not to be there, you all ignore this one small important point. He is dishonest. when he says He was not allowed to speak. what if all of them choose to do what Rollins did. Rollins is going no place fast he has a serious problem. And the other news paper did not even mention that he passed up his chance to speak.

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asiseeit 5 years, 3 months ago

Now that is funny, a PLP preaching about "rules". Don't you people make those up as you go, or at least your AG does. Birdie, I still want to know your true connection to the PLP because you just seem to have too much in the game, whats your cut, minion?

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Honestman 5 years, 3 months ago

If Rollins is "dishonest" how would you describe the rest of the rest of cabinet Birdiestrachan? Let's see what fits: honourable, trustworthy, transparent, efficient, unbiased? Nah.......none of those. I'm sure the online contributors can come up with some suitable adjectives. But let's focus on Rollins being "dishonest" Birdie if it's what you have to say to satisfy your PLP paymasters.

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Stapedius 5 years, 3 months ago

Don't waste time with birdie. He's an idiot.

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 3 months ago

Say what you must. But what I wrote is still TRUTH.

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SP 5 years, 3 months ago

MP's Spinelessly followed Ingraham To Their Political Deaths, Will Repeat With Christie

The "one term and out" of PLP and FNM confirms Bahamians have proven their disgust and disfavor with gutless MP's worshipping lost leaders.

Dr. Andrea Rollins displayed the kind of bold, fearless leadership that delivered Bahamians from the UBP, and is the kind representation Bahamians have longed for again for over 40 years.

Bahamians obviously are not into protest marches. However, it is well proven beyond all doubt that come election day, Bahamians will "show them rather than tell them" what they think about their governance of the country.

The PLP has NO FOOT TO STAND ON and the FNM were already double amputates above the thigh in 2012 elections.

Dr. Rollins, as an independent, can bring solid opposition to both sides in the house and easily continue as the peoples champion in the Honorable House!

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duppyVAT 5 years, 3 months ago

This will be an interesting 18 months until election ............... we can expect a long summer break in a few months ............. maybe until after Christmas ........ Perry and his front row henchmen cannot take too much of this abuse in the House anymore ................ SMH

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