BREAKDOWN OF TRUST: PM blasts parliamentarians over COVID-19 regulations leak

BREAKDOWN OF TRUST: PM blasts parliamentarians over COVID-19 regulations leak

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Copies of the Governor General’s unsigned proclamation order, draft COVID-19 regulations and resolution flooded social media on Tuesday evening.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis laid responsibility for the leak at the feet of parliamentarians as he lashed out at what he described as a “complete breakdown of trust”.

“I was very disappointed when I woke up about 4.30am (Wednesday) and saw splashed all across the internet, social media, the regulations, proclamation and other legislation that we would have discussed (Tuesday),” he said.

“Those legislation were given to members of parliament and opposition members and what was appalling was to see that those legislation were leaked and displayed throughout the internet, that is a complete breakdown of trust.

“I don’t know who leaked the documents but the documents were supposed to be tabled in parliament (Wednesday), like I said the documents were provided both to the government and the opposition.

Minnis continued: “If we cannot have trust among ourselves as leaders, how can we ask the general public to trust us, when there is not trust among ourselves.

“By leaking such a document that in itself could have caused panic, fear in our society. As responsible individuals when we’re talking about decreasing or removing that fear and panic in society when we ourselves are inciting and possibly causing it ourselves – I think that is appalling.”

Yesterday, the prime minster tabled the governor general’s proclamation order and the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations, 2020, which provides for the detention and mandatory isolation of people suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, and related screening requirements; requisition of private property and essential services; mandatory curfew; restriction of access to any area; and criminalize the publication of false statements.

Minnis would not indicate yesterday when or if he will move to activate emergency powers restricting movement.