|Bannister: Govt’s first 100 days will be regarded a failure|
Guardian Senior Reporter
Published: Aug 10, 2012
Senator Desmond Bannister said the government’s first 100 days in office will be regarded as a “failure” due to the Christie administration’s inability to implement some of the commitments promised within that timeframe.
“Their first 100 days are rapidly coming to an end while the unkept promises keep mounting,” Bannister said yesterday. “Regrettably, Mr. vice president, the first 100 days of this government will be regarded as a huge failure.”
Bannister said in the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) charter the party promised within its first 100 days to send a team of lawyers to the Office of the Attorney General, to review completed murder cases and execute appeals where warranted without delay.
“The PLP promised us that they would and I quote ‘within the first 100 days in office introduce a dedicated team of attorneys within the Office of the Attorney General to review all existing murder cases that are completed,” he said.
According to the charter, the PLP also promised to review existing murder cases to determine those which are heinous in nature and warrant the death penalty. “These cases will be fast tracked to the Supreme Court to ensure that our laws are no longer reduced to bluffs,” noted the charter.
However, Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson said the promise was not part of the PLP’s 100-day promises.
“I have in my hand the same document that my learned friend is referring to, these two pages, 22 and 23, refer to the first 100-day promises,” she told the Senate.
“There is nothing on these two pages that says anything about establishing anything in the Office of the Attorney General. Although I can say that it is being established, it is not in the 100 days promises. So I would hope that the member would be honorable and admit that he is misleading the Bahamian public,” she added.
However, Bannister told the Senate the pledge he was referring to is on page 168 of the charter.
“I am disappointed that the attorney general does not know what is in her own document. As the attorney general of The Bahamas, you have this document which you keep talking about as your contract with the Bahamian people, and you are not aware of the contents of this document.”
He added that the PLP also pledged to immediately amend a section of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act to allow for the creation of a Rehabilitation of Offenders Committee.
“I sit here and that amendment has not come forward, something that was promised immediately,” Bannister said. “That being the case we sit here and consider these many unfilled promises by this government and that’s only two I picked.”
Bannister also chided the government for taking a summer break from Parliament in June and early July, instead of using the time to pass anti-crime legislation and fulfill some of the commitments outlined in its Charter for Governance.
“For a government that was supposed to be ready from day one, this government took an early summer parliamentary vacation in June and July for weeks, and now they are presenting these amendments to legislation passed by the FNM before preparing to rush off for another parliamentary vacation. Shameful and disgraceful.”
He added that the government is also set to take another break from Parliament.
Prime Minister Perry Christie has said that the government’s first 100 days in office come to an end on August 15.