Speaking in a press statement earlier today, the Premier said while the National Unity Government continues its third week in office, its key focus is reform as recommended by the COI report.
“First reform itself remains a top priority for my administration. We are committed to implementing the Commission of Inquiry report recommendations and making other needed reforms. However, to do so, we must proceed in a structured and organised way,” Dr Wheatley said.
“The COI recommendations call for its recommendations to be implemented under the direct rule in which the governor would sit as the sole authority. Alternatively, however, the government of National Unity has conceptualised how implementation would work under democratic governance in which the Premier, Governor, Cabinet, Ministries, and the House of Assembly work together to implement the recommendation,” the Premier added.
He added the National Unity Government’s proposal submitted to the United Kingdom outlines a framework of implementation along these lines which would divide responsibilities accordingly. Dr Wheatley said under his government’s proposal, Governor Rankin would be responsible for the overall implementation of the COI recommendations in partnership with the Premier and also monitoring the government’s work programme and implementation timetable.
“The Premier would support the implementation of the COI report through engagement with the Governor and coordination of the ministries of government. As a leader of government’s business in the House of Assembly, I would also drive the legislative form agenda regarding this,” the Premier said.
“The Cabinet would be responsible for agreeing and passing policies necessary in passing reforms. Ministries would be responsible for implementing the reform policies agreed by cabinet and the house of assembly would be responsible for passing all relevant legislation necessary for delivering reform,” Dr Wheatley continued.
He noted the National Unity Government believes this approach would allow for the successful implementation of the COI report recommendation under a continued democratic government.
“To be clear, there would be no calling of early elections and our work would be primarily dedicated to reform for the remainder of this term. We are fully prepared to do this and continue or ongoing and constructive engagement with the governor and the United Kingdom government on reform,” the Premier said.
He added that while the UK government considers its course of action regarding the implementation of the COI report recommendations, he hopes an official response will be communicated as soon as possible.
In the meantime, Dr Wheatley said his government will continue to engage the public further on reform in the coming days to provide as much clarity as possible.