Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Neither PLP nor DNA Are Prepared to Side With Minnis Until He Makes These Changes

As the population and businesses celebrate the reopening of the country, the Progressive Liberal Party and the Democratic National Alliance want more.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced the reopening of the country after reversing the 7-day full lockdown in an unexpected move. However, the PLP said it is uninspired by the move and the DNA remains neutral, only to say, it ‘welcomes’ the reversal.

The opposition parties said Dr. Minnis must do more to win their applause.

Make an apology

Leader of the DNA Arinthia Komolafe said the prime minister’s address on Monday should have included an expression of regret for his handling of the pandemic. Komolafe suggested that Dr. Minnis was responsible for heightening the virus in the country.

“We note that the PM squandered an opportunity to apologize to the Bahamian people for his bad decisions ranging from a lack of preparation for the virus, double standards which discriminated against Bahamians, premature opening of our borders for international travel from a COVID hotspot, the 72-hour test exemption for returning residents and the announcement of a complete lockdown without notice last week,” she said.

Come with a plan

PLP Deputy Leader Chester Cooper said Dr. Minnis should have given an explanation on the government’s plan to restart the economy. Cooper said while he is “happy” for the businesses that can reopen, he said the daily announcements are not enough.

“If the government has a plan to exit from this crisis, they need to share it. A comprehensive plan to manage this crisis is long past due.

“To simply say we will soon hear what it is, is simply not good enough, almost six months into the crisis.

“This day-by-day improvisation by the government is not working. People can see for themselves that the government is just winging it,” Cooper said.

Komolafe agreed with Cooper.  She said Dr. Minnis should have included a detailed plan for the future.

“The national address again contained no comments about an economic stimulus package, rental assistance, expanding the social safety net for struggling Bahamians, and a defined plan for the way forward,” she said.

Expand the competent authority

Cooper called on Dr. Minnis to form a committee of authorities to “review the scientific studies, learn from success stories of other nations, put best practices into place, and get the virus under control”.

Komolafe said her party will provide further recommendations and will put forward a revised reopening plan for the competent authority’s consideration.

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