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Today in History: January 12

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – On this day in Bahamian history, the legislative and executive councils became two distinct bodies in 1841.

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NASSAU, BAHAMAS – On this day in Bahamian history, the legislative and executive councils became two distinct bodies in 1841.

Previously the council performed both legislative and executive functions and its membership exclusive to the House of Assembly.

The Department of Archives notes that in 1840 the apparent vacancy of seats in the council warranted a separation of the council’s functions.

The governor at the time applied for the separation of the councils because he wished to appoint two members of the House of Assembly to these vacancies but their resignation from the house would be necessary.

With the Chief Justice as president of the legislative council he was now empowered to enact laws until 1964.

All other administrative powers were vested in the executive council under the governor. In the absence of the governor, the colonial secretary was to be the provisional governor. Both councils consisted of nine members with a quorum of three.

By this arrangement, the governor could have advisors in the House of Assembly and thereby have more control over the house.


Also on this day, then Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette announced he would not seek re-election in the 2012 general election, as he stepped down from frontline politics.

However, five years later, Symonette returned to the frontline in 2017 under the Minnis administration, despite supporting Loretta Butler-Turner in the Free Nationanl Movement leadership contest.

Symonette was sworn in as minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration after regaining his seat and served until July 1, 2019, when he resigned.

Symonette did not seek reelection in 2021.

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