The Opposition Progressive Labour Party says its time for MP Wayne Scott to resign from Parliament, saying that him sitting in the Lower House and being employed by the Gaming Commission is blatant conflict of interest.
In a statement via a press relase, the Opposition says:
"The minority OBA government has once again demonstrated a blatant disregard for hard fought principles of constitutional democracy and good governance in Bermuda.
"Bermuda has witnessed over the past four years the OBA’s refusal to declare interests in government contracts, Jetgate, using the legislature to dissolve lawful contracts, disregard for the Ministerial Code of Conduct, the misleading of Parliament and has seen a 30-year contract with $2 billion projected revenue awarded without tender in contravention of the Good Governance Act. We have witnessed time and time again an OBA that has broken their promise to govern with integrity.
"And now, with sitting MP Wayne Scott’s new employment contract with the Casino Gaming Commission, the OBA has reached a new low in ethical impropriety. For the past 60+ years clear precedent has been set where any person paid directly or indirectly from the public purse cannot be a sitting MP or Senator. In fact, when government teachers, who were not civil servants, ran for office, legislation was enacted to ensure they could not simultaneously teach and hold public office. Many excellent educators left their callings to teach our children to respond to the call to serve our country.
"Never has a legislator been allowed to hold a full-time post that would directly place him in a position where he has direct influence regarding the legislation and policy governing matters falling under his remit. This longstanding practice has been abandoned with the appointment of sitting MP Wayne Scott as the Chief Technical Officer for the Gaming Commission, a role paid out of the public purse.
"The OBA has again committed to maintaining the two Bermudas, where the rules apply to everyone but the OBA by breaking a time-honoured principle and practice observed by all previous government and independent legislators over many decades.
"The acceptance of this post squarely places MP Scott in a dubious position of bias. A real conflict of interest has been created; the very situation that policy and law regarding public office was designed to prevent. This type of conflict is egregious, untenable and must not be allowed. It is an affront to the custom and practice that has operated for decades and is yet another backward step for good governance by the OBA.
"The OBA has conducted itself in a manner which has demonstrated little to no regard for Bermuda and her people. Bermudians have displayed their discontent through countless demonstrations, marches and protests in response. This has left the average Bermudian questioning whether it can get any worse. The answer, it appears, is yes.
"The PLP can only conclude that the breaking of this tradition by Premier Dunkley and the minority OBA Government is to avoid a bye-election in Constituency 27. Given the OBA's record in bye- elections this is no surprise, but political expediency should not trump good governance.
"We call on MP Scott to resign his seat immediately. We must, as legislators uphold the principles of good governance and sound democracy. We must always be seen to be fair, just and free of influence. Premier Dunkley and the OBA minority government must practice what they preach and demand that MP Scott resign his seat."