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Glenys To Defy Speaker's Ban

Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin.

Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin.

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

ENGLERSTON MP Glenys Hanna Martin will attend the next sitting of the House of Assembly despite being named and suspended indefinitely by House Speaker Halson Moultrie, Official Opposition Leader Philip “Brave” Davis announced yesterday.

Mr Davis, during a press conference at Progressive Liberal Party headquarters, said the party deems Speaker Moultrie’s decision “null and void,” as it does not “comport or comply” with the rules and procedures of the House of Assembly, and thus declared that Mrs Hanna Martin will attend Wednesday’s sitting.

Mr Davis indicated he may decide to speak with Speaker Moultrie of the opposition’s plans ahead of the commencement of House proceedings so as to “avoid any lack of decorum” and to see “whether he understands what he has done.”

Otherwise, he said the PLP supports “all lawful actions” by Mrs Hanna Martin to “ensure that this denial of her right to represent her people is reversed.” He also questioned if misogyny played a part in Mrs Hanna Martin being suspended from Parliament under two separate Free National Movement administrations. 

“We intend to go (to the House) and Mrs Martin I expect to be there,” Mr Davis said. “I’m not going to allow her to be shamed in any way or disgraced in anyway or in any way to be embarrassed by any actions on the part of the Speaker.”

Mr Davis’ announcement came days after Mrs Hanna Martin was named and suspended from further parliamentary sessions after walking out the House as Speaker Moultrie commented on her behaviour during previous proceedings.

The explosive scene at the House last Wednesday was sparked during discourse over comments she made the week before regarding the firing of two Eleuthera airport officials, which were ultimately stricken from the record.

At the time, Speaker Moultrie stated that a decision on the period of the suspension would be determined and that Parliament would subsequently be informed. Otherwise, he ruled that Mrs Hanna Martin is “not entitled to enter the precincts” of the House unless “otherwise determined by the House and this chair.”

Yesterday, Mr Davis drew attention to Rule 88 of the Rules of Procedure of the House, which requires a motion being made by the leader of the House, which in turn is to be voted upon to enable the suspension of a member. Further, he said that in order to be named and suspended, the member in question has to have committed the offences set out in the rules.

As such, Mr Davis said Speaker Moultrie’s actions towards Mrs Hanna Martin were a “breach” of two “ancient privileges” afforded to parliamentarians, namely freedom of speech and freedom from arrest. Mr Davis also said that in suspending Mrs Hanna Martin for an “indeterminate amount of time” means he has “denied the voice of the people of Englerston in Parliament.”

“I have read the transcripts of the exchanges,” he said. “What comes to mind is the legal doctrine of proportionality. The Speaker’s response is out of all proportion to any supposed offence. The Speaker’s jurisdiction should be exercised permissively and not like a disciplinarian. He is to act fairly and judiciously. None of these seem to apply.”

Mr Davis also said that via Speaker Moultrie’s actions, it appears that “FNM speakers” have a “penchant” for being “troubled by Mrs Hanna Martin’s advocacy.”

“I am also constrained to say that it appears that it is the penchant for FNM Speakers it seems to be troubled by Mrs. Hanna Martin’s advocacy. We have only to remember that Alvin Smith did a similar thing when he was Speaker,” Mr Davis said. 

“Given the evident patriarchy which continues to exist in so many forums of our country, one wonders also whether there is not a bit of misogyny operating here. I would hope not and therefore urge the Speaker to resile from his position and allow Mrs Hanna Martin to take her seat to represent her people.”

Even more so, Mr Davis said based on his observations, Speaker Moultrie’s naming and suspending of Mrs Hanna Martin was the result of “some personal animosity” that has been “brewing and growing” as a result of their previous interactions in the House.

“What truly irked me in a more serious way is how he assaulted the integrity and credibility of the member in a way that was totally unfounded and unfair,” Mr Davis added. “It is one thing to have your conclusion or views of a person. It’s another when you are saying that you, yourself, being what you termed a ‘trained scientist’ and an ‘observational specialist’ or ‘analyst,’ to proceed to make inquiries about something, come to your conclusions, and when that something is going to adversely affect the reputation of others, you don’t even engage them in that consultation, or let them know ‘look, I’m not going to embark on this because I have a belief about you, I’m going to determine whether the facts prove the belief.’

“You don’t do that, you just go ahead on a frolic of your own, make a determination which adversely affects the reputation of a member,” Mr Davis said. “How could that be fair in the minds of any right-thinking person?”

Mrs Hanna Martin, meanwhile, accused Speaker Moultrie of going “outside the official record of Parliament” to substantiate his claims concerning her behaviour during parliamentary proceedings, referring to him reviewing ZNS tapes of her during previous sessions as a part of an investigation he conducted towards that end.

“I’ve never seen that,” Mrs Hanna Martin said. “I have never seen a Speaker seek to escape the record to go and do something else to support whatever he was seeking to do.”

The Englerston MP also said it was “perverse” of Speaker Moultrie to suspend her from the House for the reasons he proffered while being such an “insister of the rules.”

Mrs Hanna Martin said: “For a Speaker who I must add has only been in Parliament for a few months – he’s a first time MP – for him to be such an insister of the rules, should in such a most flagrant and fundamental way in ousting a duly elected member of the House, should do that in a manner which is completely inconsistent with the rules that he so often touts for his authority and power in that House, is beyond ironic.”

Last week was the second time Mrs Hanna Martin was named in the House. The first time took place under the last Ingraham administration.

Comments

sheeprunner12 2 years, 7 months ago

Soooooooo, how will she get past the Sgt-at-arms????????? ........ Will he have the power to arrest for unlawful entry????????? ........ He was given such orders by Mr. Speaker.

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Sickened 2 years, 7 months ago

I may have to stand outside the house on Wednesday to see whether this biggity lady gets handcuffed and thrown in the paddy wagon.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 7 months ago

This imbecile, who has cost our country untold millions of dollars through her gross incompetence as a PLP cabinet minister, actually thinks she is an elitist politician for whom the rule of law does not apply. Hanna-Martin is one terribly warped and wretched woman - she feeds on tormenting others with her uncouth load mouth! Ordained to a career in politics by nepotism alone, it's sad the Bahamian people were not relieved of her in the last general election. She's now nothing more than a useless nuisance with a voice from an era that we would all like to forget.

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DDK 2 years, 7 months ago

The Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin and Opposition Leader Philip Davis both seem bound and determined to waste The People's time as they did under the former regime.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 7 months ago

Her Old Man should try and speak some sense into her ....... but then again, with a nickname like "Midge", her Old Man may be her example.

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birdiestrachan 2 years, 7 months ago

I tried listening to what the speaker had to say. What has the Bahamas come to when the speaker does not have the ability to speak. I do not listen to them . but I wanted to hear his reasons, It was pure agony.

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TalRussell 2 years, 7 months ago

Ma Comrade House Speaker is no match for "Mitch" Hanna's daughter. Her Pop's is one of the most honest man's to have sat up in the Peoples Honourable House of Assembly. They don't born them like Mitch, no more.

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BMW 2 years, 7 months ago

If the dunce shows up let the sgt-at-arm do his duty.

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birdiestrachan 2 years, 7 months ago

The speaker disrespected Mrs. Martin and he also disrespected the civil Servants who work in the house. by saying he did not trust their records. This is the same as what President Trump says about the FBI and the Justice System.

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realfreethinker 2 years, 7 months ago

How about the disrespect your beloved criminal empire Cough plp showed the country. When are you going to get lost birdiestrachan,we don't want to hear from you or your plp

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 7 months ago

Sooooooo, the Speaker does not have the right to request the ZNS video?? The remarks that Martin made were not on the official transcript but everyone who was watching ZNS live could hear her nasty comments from her seat. The Speaker cannot allow her to berate him like that ....... honourable?????

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The_Oracle 2 years, 7 months ago

Funny that they want to revert to the rules and laws when under pressure but throw them out the window otherwise. Can they even understand the rules? Their behavior says otherwise.

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tetelestai 2 years, 7 months ago

It is really disheartening reading the comments on this message board. When I signed up, I was hoping to engage in good, healthy, honest dialogue about our country...even perhaps reason together, as the good Book says, and formulate a few solutions to propel our beloved Bahamas.. Instead, it appears that high school name-calling, scatological reasoning and wretched miscreant language permeates this comment thread. What is equally disappointing is that you all probably represent the best that the Bahamas has to offer. Sad for the Bahamas and for my children if this comment board is what we have come to as a people.

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