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Davis is acting minister of social services

Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis is acting minister of social services, information and broadcasting, The Nassau Guardian was told.

Davis assumes the role until a suitable replacement is found.

Obie Wilchcombe, who served as the minister, died on Monday in Grand Bahama.

When the Progressive Liberal Party assumed office in September 2021, Wilchcombe was appointed minister of social services and urban development.

At the time of his death, he also served as leader of government business in the House of Assembly.

When Davis recently reshuffled his Cabinet, Wilchcombe was given the additional responsibility of information and broadcasting, which included oversight of ZNS and Bahamas Information Services.

During his tenure, Wilchcombe brought several pieces of legislation to Parliament including the Protection Against Violence Bill.

However, some women’s group took issue with the bill saying it was not the version they had spent 10 years working on.

Wilchcombe promised and was taking part in consultation with the groups to draft amendments to the bill.

He was also holding consultations on an amendment to the Sexual Offences Act that will criminalize marital rape.

That bill, drafted last September, has not been tabled in Parliament.

But, Wilchcombe, along with Law Reform Commissioner Dame Anita Allen, held a discussion with rights groups and other members of the public about the bill in July.

At the time, he said consultation on the bill will continue for a few more months.

Wilchcombe served as the member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini from 2002 to 2017 and was reelected in 2021.

During two nonconsecutive terms under Perry Christie as prime minister, he was minister of tourism (2002-2007 and 2012-2017).