Five Members of the Legislative Assembly, three of whom recently bolted from the Progressives administration side of the chamber, are asking Governor (Hon.) Helen Kilpatrick to state whether the Premier, (Hon.) Alden McLaughlin, is authorised to order or even announce an election earlier than the planned 2017 balloting. The MLA’s sent a letter on Thursday (28 January) which criticises the Premier for “the tacit threat of an early general election.”
The letter was co-signed by independents V. Arden McLean of East End, D. Ezzard Miller of North Side; two Bodden Town MLA’s who recently left the Progressives, Anthony Eden and Alva Suckoo; and former councillor Winston Connolly of George Town.
They write, “We would respectfully caution the Premier that to unnecessarily alarm the populace with the spectre of an early election, which the country is not prepared for, especially where the possibility of such an event is at best dubious, for motives which are uncertain, is tantamount to a dereliction of his overarching duty to lead the people of this country. We believe that it is a fundamental duty of the Premier to promote the stability of this country, rather than to, apparently for reasons of practical politics, menace the population with an uncertain future.”
The authors cite Constitutional language they say affirms the Governor’s responsibilities for calling early elections. The MLA’s claim the Premier’s talk of possible snap elections, due to his thin but clear majority in the Legislative Assembly, sets a bad precedent for any future governments that have less than overwhelming majority control of the legislative chamber.