<<< Errol Bethel, Sir Burton Hall, Reginald Ferguson and Hubert Ingraham.
Nassau, Bah: Bahamas Press understands the seriousness of this CONSISTENT Breach of Constitutional Trust within the Ingraham FNM government. This current bill (THE POLICE ACT) is UNCONSTITUTIONAL in its elements to limit the tenure of the Commissioner of Police!
No individual can wake up in the morning and say he will limit the term of the Commissioner. NO ONE has that right alone. NOT THE COURTS, NOT THE FNM, NOT THE PLP NOR MUGABE (HUBERT INGRAHAM). Only a Referendum can make that change happen and the constitution is clear on that!
The office, not the individual, BUT THE OFFICE is at question here. And the Prime Minister is just waking up with his RUDE behaviour once again attempting to change LAW, when he doesn’t KNOW THE SUPREME LAW of this Bahamas.
The Constitution, NOT INGRAHAM protects that independence and tenure of the Commissioner here, and when a PRIME MINISTER attempts to BREAK THE HIGHEST LAW OF THIS LAND, then we are quickly becoming a NATION practising LAWLESSNESS at the highest level!
Bahamas Press is consistent with its rebukes to the actions of Hubert Ingraham when it comes to matters such as these and once again we call on ALL BAHAMIANS to join us, whether its is done by a PLP or FNM government. The Constitution protects us all from people like the Ingrahams of this world, and we should not sit idle and allow his BRUTISH ATTACK ON OUR DEMOCRACY TO CONTINUE. For when we do so, we are inviting EVIL MEN TO TAMPER WITH OUR FREEDOMS!
It was Ingraham’s executive government whom the Chief Justice warned a few weeks ago, to remove themselves from meddling in the administration of Justice. The Chief Justice’s sharp rebuke against Ingraham’s government just last month was almost not repeated in the media. Who were they protecting?
It was Ingraham who saw a member of his Cabinet conduct a Local Government election last year. That election was carried out without proper NOTICE being given in the various constituencies on the family islands. This is equal to a GENERAL ELECTIONS being held in the country with no one knowing it was about to happen. THAT IS WHAT INGRAHAM DID LAST YEAR! And that is why when the court ruled that the elections were not valid, COLLIE HAD TO RESIGN!
It was Hubert Ingraham who appointed an ILLEGAL member of the Senate in 2007, AGAINST the LAW as ascribed in the constitution on the appointment of senators. The court ruled AGAIN in 2008, that action by Ingraham was illegal and therefore the Sen. Musgrove had to resign!
We in the Bahamas have short memory. Too short memory! We must wake up and accept something is wrong with LEADERSHIP IN THIS COUNTRY!
When a government can suggest that the 2007 election process was fair, even though the court had thrown out scores of illegal ballots. Even after the Christie’s boundary commission reported outside the timetables of the constitution (LATE AGAIN!). Errol Bethel told Christie he had enough time to issue voters cards, but knew Christie did not give him sufficient time.
We the people must began to examine our democracy and call for CHANGE where needed! We all know something has gone wrong with INGRAHAM AND CHRISTIE. How can any of them conclude by saying the election process was fine and that nothing went wrong? When the courts prove opposite!
We know taking all these incidents into account, that MUGABE will go at any length to destroy the very institutions which are constitutionally entrenched to protect LAW AND ORDER!
No one can deny, Ingraham’s bullish actions has declined free speech, drilled fear and hampered opinions in this country. THANK GOD from someone like Alfred Sears who has the aptitude to interpret law and the strength to stand against OPPRESSION AND WICKEDNESS now being perpetrated against Bahamians! We definitely need more like him.
And here is another twist to all this, Orville Turnquest was also around the table at our constitutional talks. AND SO WE ASK, WHEN would the WUTLESS media get an opinion on this matter from him? THEY WILL NOT TALK TO HIM AND WHY? Because they’re WUTLESS MEDIA!
McKenzie I fully agree with your sentiments as you like me appear to be an ex Policeman and know the difficulty in training persons to be good and efficient Officers.Hubert Ingrahama and his advisors believe that bcos you favor someone then they should make good officers.I am afraid in my own country bcos criminals appear to have the initiative upon realising that the Govt is removing hindrances for them on the force.Dodge city is what Nassau has become since the last meddling in the Police Force.Those who this Govt favor are not real Policemen as they have arrested no one even for obscene language.We are the laughing stock of the World as experience is being sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.
not only is placing a term limit on the commissioner of the police unconstitutional but we are seeing the results of prime minister ingraham’s inteference with the police force.in 2000 and 2001 mr.ingraham dismissed a huge number of police which he claimed would make the police force more efficient and effective in fighting crime.the result was the murder count in 2000 was almost 90.the police detection rate of murderers dropped from 90% to 65%.we bahamians will soon realize that it takes years to make an experience police officer.
Media: It is because the Constitution does not specify a term limit for the COP that there is no need to have an ammendment to the constitution in my opinion. Policies and requirements are established to regulate tenure in such cases and do not require ammendments or referendum. Constitutional laws are very broad and were made so that they would not unnecessarily bind us in specifics and where there appears a need to be more specific the Constitution allows us to petition the courts to ammend for a specific need. If a Constitution made constitutional all policies and regulations we would continually be ammending everything. Few of us would ever take the time to read or study a document that would be so voluminous and unweildy. Of course a government can impose a time limit by simple legislation. If there are persons who believe that legislation to be unconstitutional then they have every right to bring it to court. I don’t miss the point. So many are so entrenched in their party politics they believe their(or one of their elected member’s) interpretation of constitutional law is the only correct interpretation. Now the procedure for the removal of a COP is very specific in the constitution. Still it is not the G.G who decides. It is a PM who brings the removal request to the G.G. who is then under direction of the Constitution to form a tribunal to determine if just cause exists. By having a term limit, a COP who has not committed an egregious act but is not doing as good a job as needed may be required to leave after 5 years with no repercusions or costs to the government. WOW. Media and Others: We can only discuss this from a layman’s point of view as we are not constitutional experts, so there really is no need to make difinitive statements as though our opinion is the only correct one.
Joe Blow, once again you are missing the point. The problem is not the proposed term limit for the C.O.P. . The problem arises with the ability of the government to implement a term limit by simply passing legislation, they can’t legally do it without a referendum.
Why give the C.O.P. two 5 year terms and not just one 10 year term anyway? If he does not jump through hoops for the government of the day, no matter how effective he is at his job, do you really believe he would be granted the second 5 year term?
“The Commissioner of Police and Deputy
Commissioner of Police may be removed from office by the
Governor-General but shall not be removed except in accordance
with the provisions of paragraph (2) of this Article.
(2) The Commissioner of Police or Deputy Commissioner
of Police shall be removed from office by the Governor-General if
the question of his removal from office has been referred to a
tribunal appointed under paragraph (3) of this Article and the
tribunal has recommended to the Governor-General that he
ought to be removed from office.”
This is a direct quote from the constitution and it is quite clear that there is only one way to remove the C.O.P., any other method, no matter how meritorious must go to referendum.
This is more than just an FNM or PLP thing. Today the constitutional rights of the C.O.P. are being trampled, tomorrow it could quite as easily be me or you.
The fact that the constitution does not have a term limit for the office, confirms that to amend such a thing requires a referendum. There is ONLY one provision that gives explanation for the removal of the COP. And therefore if you want to remove him or have him removed any other way other than the Tribunal advising the GG, then you mus bring it to the people. THE CONSTITUTION IS CLEAR!
The Bahamas’ Constitution does not have a term limit on the position, it is true. The power to make the appointment is vested in the G.G. upon recommendation of the P.M. after consultation with the L.of the O. The power to remove is similarly vested and a tribunal must be formed to investigate “cause”. However there is nothing in the Constitution that forbids term limits. So we cannot say it is unconstitutional or inappropriate or illegal to limit tenure for that position. Historically the precedent has been set that the P.M.decides the period of time the C.O.P. remains in the position.In the present circumstance there is a possibility that a young officer could be appointed and serve 20 plus years. The question becomes, “Should one remain in this powerful position for that extended a period”? That is not a constitutional issue, it is a judgement call. Once the bill has been passed it can be challenged and the courts will decide if it breaches the Constitution. Since several other countries have term limits for this position it is highly unlikely a challenge would be successful but that doesn’t mean it should not be put to the challenge.This is what democracy is all about. We cannot say “the Constitution is clear on that” as the Constitution does not say that a C.O.P. may serve at his discretion, until mandatory retirement age. “Mr. Barnett…… either his advice was disregarded or he is playing along.” –Might there be a third scenario? Could he have determined that that provision in the bill is not incompatible with the Constitution?
Media, to commit a wrongful act once you get the benefit of the doubt. Do it twice and its called a mistake, do it three times and its called a TREND. This is now HI’s third attempt to disregard the law and none of the media houses has caught his mistake or even report it. Why do we have a ZNS, Tribune, Guardian or Bahama Journal? They serve no purpose at all.
Whats interesting to me is the action by the AG to sign off on the legal merits of a piece of legislation when we all know that HE KNOWS its unconstitutional? Michael Barnett aint no dummy Media. Either his advice was disregarded or he is playing along. I cant see a smart man like Mr Barnett playing long when the mistake is so obvious.
Something is fishy.
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