Party whip knocks leak of draft resolution, still under consideration
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bamboo Town MP Renward Wells yesterday decried the leak of a draft resolution that speaks to the possible extension of the 24-hour curfew, telling constituents the release of information that has not yet been agreed causes “problems in the society” during an already challenging time.
On Monday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced a 24-hour curfew, border shutdown, and a ‘shelter in place’ order, among additional measures that expand emergency powers regulations introduced last week to prevent the local spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The measures remain in effect until March 31.
A draft proclamation order, regulations and resolution, which Eyewitness News published last week, made the rounds on social media today.
That document indicated the regulations would be extended for a period ending April 30.
In a voice note to Bamboo Town constituents, Well explained the emergency measures in place for 14 days gives the government the authority to extend the measures for an additional 60 days.
However, he said Cabinet had not made that decision to do so at this time.
He advised that in order for the government to do that in must convene Parliament and either debate the issue or lay a resolution, extending the 14 days to 30 days.
Parliament will meet next Monday.
Attorney General Carl Bethel has said the 24-hour curfew could be extended for another 30 days
Wells maintained the lockdown would be lifted if the medical community made the recommendation and there is no concern about additional cases.
“If the medical community is saying, listen ‘y’all need to keep this in place because we see certain things, then the government will do that,” he said.
“We are listening to the experts. We are observing what has happened in countries all across the globe and the one [which] are being hardest hit; and the ones [which] are reeling under the weight of this COVID-19 spread and this disease are those countries that had a free-for-all and people were lollygagging; everybody was out having a good time; drinking and having fun and going where they ‘wan’ go, you know.
“Ask the Italians today whether they would have wanted an opportunity to go back and make a different decision that they made back in January; as the people in Great Britain; or the folks in Germany; or those in Spain or those in France that are now grappling with this disease.
“As a matter of fact, as the folks in New York, who sort of did half measures.”
As it relates to the leak of the draft resolution, Wells, the party whip, said: “Bamboo Town, here is the problem that we end up with when folks aren’t getting news from official sources and you have the opposition — and I am not being political; I am just being straight forward — which ends up with access to certain documents and decide to send out the documents; and decide to put out news ahead of time for things that have not yet been completely agreed with issues that [are] within discussion. It causes a whole lot of problems in the society, especially at times such as these.”
Wells said the Minnis administration will continue to be responsible with the life and livelihood of the Bahamian people.
He assured that it will continue to make tough decisions as it has done in the past, dealing with “one crisis after another”.
Well said he believes “God has called this government to the kingdom for such a time as this”, adding the Minnis administration “is built for battle”.