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Communication to the Senate by Senator the Hon. Carl W. Bethel, Attorney General - June 29, 2020
Jun 29, 2020 - 10:34:10 PM

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29th June, 2020

Due to the fact that the Office of the Attorney-General (my Office) failed to deliver a Resolution to extend the Proclamation of Emergency made by His Excellency the Governor General on the 17th March, 2020, in time for the same to be Tabled in the House of Assembly before the end of its last session and the Budget Debate, the initial Proclamation of Emergency will end at 12:00 Midnight this evening.

As Minister I must accept, and freely do accept full ministerial responsibility for this oversight.

I was informed that the Opposition, prior to this morning’s sitting of the House of Assembly, had indicated an intention not to waive the 24 hours Rule, which requires at least 24 hours’ Notice between the Tabling of any Motion and any debate on that Motion.

The Opposition are fully entitled to rely upon the Rules of the House.

Consequently, His Excellency the Governor General will have to consider whether the COVID-19 emergency still exists in The Bahamas, and whether he will issue a new Proclamation.

If and once he does issue a new Proclamation the Competent Authority will consider whether to issue new COVID 19 Orders and Provisions. If he does so, these Orders and Provisions will take immediate effect after the new Proclamation.

If so, the 10:00 pm to 5:00 am Curfew will continue in force immediately after 12:00 Midnight this evening, as well as all the physical distancing, sanitization and mask wearing Orders and Protocols. The restrictions and protocols governing business openings will remain in place for the duration of the new Proclamation.

I reiterate that I take full Ministerial responsibility. The Government of The Bahamas has every right to expect and to rely upon timely, and in-time, advice from the Office of the Attorney-General. This is not the Prime Minister’s oversight. This is not the Government’s oversight.  It is the oversight by my Office, and my oversight.

I apologize for this procedural oversight to His Excellency the Governor General, the Prime Minister, the Government of The Bahamas, and the Bahamian People.


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