Nations leader must do his duty, says Davis
After an outcry of concerns for the substantive post of chief justice, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis told supporters Tuesday during a monthly meeting, that the Bahamian people must stand up to their prime minister and hold him accountable to his duties.
“Nobody forces them to do anything …” Davis said.
“He has to act when he deems appropriate. But, it is his duty to make an appointment. The absence of the appointment is causing concern in the community.”
Davis’ comments come a day after Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis told reporters he was done speaking to the subject of the appointment of the chief justice and insisted he will not be forced to fill the office.
He called the PM’s comments “puerile”.
“The post of the chief justice is a very important appointment to fulfill,” he said.
“At the moment, the government is imbalanced because you have a Prime Minister, you have a Speaker, but you don’t have a chief justice.”
While the fulfillment of the position continues to be delayed, there has been speculation that Attorney General Carl Bethel was being considered for the post.
Davis said he won’t stand for it.
“I will not support the appointments of anyone to the post of chief justice directly from the boiler room of politics,” he said.
“My position on this is not new. I had that stance from the appointment of Michael Barnett as chief justice. I had that stance when Mrs. Claire Hepburn was appointed as judge because she too came from the boiler room of politics.
“My concern rests in the fact that, as part of the nuance of our political structure, the arm of government, the judiciary – their sole existence and effectiveness rests primarily in the confidence of the Bahamian people.”
During an interview with reporters Monday, Dr. Minnis said, there are more important issues on his agenda than the concern of the chief justice position.
“Let me ask you a question. Which is priority to you, your light going off or you getting a CJ? Which one is more important to you? I know what is more important to me. The light is more important to me,” Dr. Minnis said.
Last week the Bahamas Bar Association (BBA) President Khalil Parker ridiculed the prime minister and accused him of “misapprehension” of the constitutional provisions relating to the appointment of the position.