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hubertminnis

Thursday, September 29, 2022

hubertminnis

Pintard Stuns With Win to End Minnis’ Reign

Marco City MP Michael Pintard won the leadership position of the Free National Movement following its one-day convention that saw three candidates go head-to-head to vie for the post.

In an exuberant gathering at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church on Saturday, hundreds of delegates convened to cast their vote.

At the end, Pintard was declared the winner. In his victory speech, he expressed gratitude to former prime ministers and his supporters.

“…By the will of God, we will be back on 2026.”

To former parliamentarians, he encouraged, “It’s about the journey, make connections and change the course of people’s lives.”

Pintard promised that as leader of the Opposition, he will be careful in his deliberation. “We will speak in a measured way to get the result we need.”

Pintard, the favourite to win the post, competed with Central Grand Bahama MP Iram Lewis and East Grand Bahama MP Kwasi Thompson.

Pintard won with 297 of the votes. Thompson received 103 votes and Lewis got 44 votes.

The three Grand Bahama parliamentarians made up the seven parliamentarians who retained their seats in the early election in September.

Marco City MP Michael Pintard with Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham

Pintard garnered support from former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and former St Anne’s MP Brent Symonette, and some of his former parliamentarians and Cabinet members in the Hubert Minnis led administration.

Minnis did not reveal who he voted for but said he will support the winner, in hopes that the party regain its footing to win the next general election.

FNM to Pick New Leader on November 27 as Minnis Stays Quiet on Next Move

The Free National Movement will hold a one-day convention on November 27 to choose the party’s next leader. This comes after former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis refused to say whether or not he will accept a nomination for leader of the party at its next convention, if someone moves a motion on the floor.

Why it matters

Following the party’s loss at the polls on September 16, the FNM’s council members voted to keep Minnis as the Opposition Leader until November, when the party can choose a new leader. A date was not finalized until now.

However, in a recent interview with Eye Witness News, Minnis did not emphatically rule out a bid to contest the leadership position at the next convention.

The big picture

The FNM retained only 7 seats in the House of Assembly. The Westminister’s system of governance dictates that a prime minister should resign following his party’s defeat at the electoral polls.

State of play

No one has officially presented themselves for the leadership post, but insiders say Marco City MP Michael Pintard, East Grand Bahama MP Kwasi Thompson and Central Grand Bahama MP Iram Lewis have shown an interest in the position.

The Opening of Parliament Looks Different from Past Years

The Opening of Parliament looks significantly different from previous years as members of parliament took their seats in the relocated House of Assembly, before hundreds of Bahamians.

Traditionally, the Opening of Parliament is held in Rawson Square, but Parliament has been relocated to the Baha Mar Convention Center citing the threat of adverse weather, the demolition of the Churchill Building and seating limitations due to social distancing protocols.

The pomp and pageantry were on full display as parliamentarians arrived with their spouses, family members and supporters.

Prime Minister Philip Davis, Opposition Leader Hubert Minnis and other members of parliament took their oath of office in Baha Mar as Governor-General C.A Smith inspected the colour guard comprising of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Guard.

Proceedings for the Lower and Upper Chambers were held in different rooms where Bamboo Town MP Patricia Deveaux was appointed the House Speaker and Senator Lashell Adderley was appointed Senate President, respectively.

Members from both chambers soon recessed and walked to the main room to hear the Speech from the Throne read by Smith, who outlined the new government’s policies and agenda which include the reduction of Value Added Tax to 10 percent, the building of two new hospitals in New Providence and Grand Bahama, amendment of the debt management plan, implementation of renewable energy, improve greater food security, introduction of regulations for the framework for the cannabis industry, introduction of measures to reintroduce prisoners into the workforce, expungement of the records of young people caught with small amounts of marijuana and the increase of the minimum wage.

The big picture

The opening of Parliament follows the September 16 early election when the Progressive Liberal Party won 32 seats in the House of Assembly. The FNM became the Opposition winning 7 seats.

 

Davis Beats Minnis to Capture the House in Early Election

Philip Davis will capture the Parliament and reign as prime minister after victory at the polls over FNM Leader Hubert Minnis.

Davis won by a big margin capturing a majority of the seats in an early election.

A delighted Davis took to social media to express delight. “Thank you Bahamas. Your support means so much to me. It is a new day. God bless the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.”

Minnis has conceded to Davis and offered best wishes to him. He thanked the Bahamians who supported him while congratulating the FNM candidates who won their seats.

Minnis won his seat for Killarney and will lead the Opposition in the House of Assembly.

As of 9:30 pm, Kwasi Thompson, Shanendon Cartwright, Andrian Gibson, Michael Pintard, Iram Lewis and Adrian White of the FNM survived and will be a part of the opposition.

Davis will have to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccination rollout, boost the economy and revive the healthcare system.

Davis was a part of the Christie administration that was voted out in 2017, which was heavily hit with scandals.

Minnis’ reign as prime minister was criticized for its handling of the Oban deal, Dorian and its aftermath, and the Emergency Orders which caused the closure of businesses.

Amidst the pandemic, Davis staged virtual rallies preaching that his government will usher in transparency, equality and prosperity.

Minnis Hosts First Drive-in Campaign Rally Amid Pandemic Ahead of Election

As the general election loom, the political arena saw its first drive-in rally.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis addressed hundreds of supporters in Grand Bahama who stayed in or near their vehicles, to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19.

Despite its high cases of infection in the country, the Free National Movement found a new way to reach its supporters.   The party supporters waved pom-poms from their car windows, blew the car horns in support of their candidates, while others danced while social distancing from others.

Minnis touted his vaccination program stating that 11,000 more Bahamians were vaccinated between Monday and Friday.

He hit out at the Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party Philip Davis who has criticized his government’s COVID-19 policies to control the virus.

Minnis praised the “decisive leadership” of his government.

“Some other people played down the pandemic and the vaccine. They talked fool and voted against the Emergency Order. If Brave Davis was leading the country, we would be in much, much worse shape,” Minnis said.

“He and I are distinctly different. I wanted to save lives. He wanted to open the bars.”

Minnis added that he laughed when he saw the PLP’s slogan, ‘A New Day.’

“I bust out laughing when I heard that…He is a PLP from the dark days of the ’80s…Brave is no new day. Brave is yesterday’s news. He would take us back to the dark days.”

Last week, Davis said his party will postpone drive-in rallies to help battle the spread of the infectious disease.

The big story

Bahamians will head to the polls on September 16 in an early election called by Minnis. It comes at a time when the country is battling high deaths and hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

The government has launched its vaccination campaign to combat the further spread of the virus. Three vaccines are now available–AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.

 

 

Who Will Be the Country’s Next Prime Minister?

In a crowded race, more than five candidates are vying for the position of Prime Minister. These candidates want to lead the Bahamas in a post-pandemic era. The economy needs a revival and the country’s health system needs restoration, both of which have suffered since the start of the COVID19 pandemic.

Who is the best leader for the job?

Here are the leaders of political parties, vying to win the hearts of Bahamians.

Dr Hubert Minnis

Minnis is the incumbent running for the position of prime minister, a post he has held since 2017. The 67-year-old is the parliamentarian for the Killarney constituency. He was a gynecologist and obstetrician before becoming a politician. In 2007, Minnis was elected to Parliament and served as Minister of Health and eventually became leader of the party where he faced many internal conflicts.

After his victory at the polls, Minnis’ leadership was challenged following the devastations caused by Hurricane Dorian in 2019 that destroyed Abaco and parts of Grand Bahama, two economic hubs of the Bahamas.

His greatest test has been the COVID-19 pandemic that forced lockdowns and curfews, resulting in a depressed economy and lost jobs. While some have criticized the lockdowns and curfews imposed by the Emergency Order, some have praised Minnis’ handling of the pandemic and his rollout of the vaccines.

Philip Davis

Davis is the leader of the official opposition party, the Progressive Liberal Party. The 70-year-old is a lawyer and serves as the Member of Parliament for Cat Island and San Salvador. Many people have criticized the poor conditions of these islands where Davis has served since 2002, due to its lack of infrastructural developments.

Davis served as Deputy Leader of the PLP in 2012 and became leader of the party after his party’s defeat at the polls in 2017.

Davis has been a strong opponent of the Emergency Order and criticized the lockdowns and curfews imposed by the government. He has been described as the “flip-flopper” who changes his views on government policies to suit his talking points.

Arinthia Komolafe

Komolafe is the leader of the Democratic National Alliance, a position she inherited in 2019 after the resignation of its interim party leader. The 41-year-old became the first woman to lead a political party.

She is a banker and lawyer and was a former member of the Progressive Liberal Party. Komolafe has recently faced conflicts within her party that became public in recent months. Some have questioned her ability to lead a country due to her gender and her marriage to a foreigner.

This year, she was detained by police for an illegal protest held in Parliament Square which some have called ‘gender bias.’

She has received praise for her enlightenment and communication skills.

DNA is the third viable option for voters, but the party has lost its spark. It will be the third time the party goes to the polls after the 2012 and 2017 election results.

In 2012, the party received 13,000 votes and received 7,537 votes in 2017.

Lincoln Bain

Bain is a controversial talk show host turned politician. Bain has sought nomination from two political groups, FNM and DNA, but was not successful. He formed the Coalition of Independents in 2021, a party that accrued independent candidates to run in the upcoming General Election.

Bain initially formed an activist group, Bahamian Evolution which lobbied for Bahamians to benefit from the country’s natural resources, but it has since morphed into a political group.

Bain opposes the COVID19 vaccines and led protests to oppose government policies. His campaign has been mainly social media based as he seeks to expose corruption. He has attracted a large social media following.

Bain promises Bahamians that if he is elected, he will ensure each Bahamian receive $100,000.

It remains to be seen if he can turn followers into voters.

Cassius Stuart

Stuart founded the Bahamas Democratic Movement but he later dissolved the party after joining the FNM in 2011.

The businessman has since left the FNM and restarted his party. Stuart seems to have no momentum but says he has a plan to move the country forward.

Voting in a Pandemic? Advance Polls to Open for 65-Years and Older

Three days after Prime Minister Hubert Minister announced an early election, he allayed fears, assuring voters of the polls’ safety as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a national address on Sunday, Minnis call on all eligible Bahamians to vote.

Minnis said advance voting privileges will be afforded to people 65 years and older, which will reduce the number of people at the polls on the same date.

The big picture

An early election will be on September 16, eight months before schedule.

It will particularly be an interesting election since the Bahamas is in the middle of a pandemic and Bahamians have never had to vote amid a pandemic.

Politicians will face the challenge of holding campaigns and rallies to reach voters. Minnis reiterated the Emergency Order which stipulates that all campaigners must be in groups of five and fully vaccinated.

Minnis Calls Snap Election for September 16

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis is calling an early election for September 16.

In a leaked letter to the Governor-General, Minnis is officially seeking a snap election and asking for a new parliament by October 6th.

“Pursuant to Articles 65 and 67 of the Constitution, I have the honor to advise your excellency to issue Writs of Election on the 19th day of August 2021, to cause a general election of members of the House of Assembly to be made on the 16th day of September 2021 according to law, and to order a new Parliament to meet on Wednesday the 6th day of October 2021.”

The big picture

Speculations of an early election have been rife since earlier in the year.

The governing party and the opposition have been ratifying candidates and heavily campaigning.

The official opposition party and other third parties have been agitating for an early election, prompting citizens and residents to register to vote.

Yesterday, PLP Leader Philip Davis called on Minnis to “ring the bell.” He said the election is “the first step to better days.”

Why it matters

This means Bahamians will go to the polls eight months ahead of schedule.

Minnis’ decision to call an early election is a gamble as the country is gripped with high cases of hospitalization and deaths due to COVID-19.

Yesterday, in a surprising turn of events, Parliament was prorogued and was expected to resume September 22.

Now that election will be called early, Parliament will instead have to be dissolved. This is when the life of parliament ends, every seat in the House becomes vacant and parliamentarians must render themselves as candidates.

Parliament to Reconvene on Tuesday Instead

In a letter from the Chief Clerk of Parliament, the House of Assembly will reconvene on Tuesday and not September 22, as previously announced.

According to the letter, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis had spoken to House Speaker Halson Moultrie requesting that Parliament reassemble sooner “because of the resurgence of COVID-19.”

The big picture

Parliament recessed from June 21st to September 22, but House Speaker Halson Moultrie decried the decision.

Moultrie told reporters that the break prevents parliamentarians from effectively representing the concerns of their constituents and presented challenges by the House from supervising Cabinet’s activities and policies.

Moultrie then announced that he would hold an open Parliament in the Square starting Wednesday, for Bahamians to express their concerns and engage with the speaker or the clerk.

State of Play

The recent announcement by Chief Clerk David Forbes means Moultrie now has no need to hold the ‘open Parliament’ since House will reconvene on Tuesday.

 

 

 

Minnis Joins Frontline and Rallies with Other Doctors to Vaccinate Populace

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis will join other healthcare workers in vaccinating the populace which he believes will help control the spread of COVID-19 and prevent further burden on health facilities in the country.

Minnis was speaking at a press conference at Jet Nassau on Tuesday after receiving 33,600 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which is the country’s third tranche of pre-paid vaccines through the COVAX Facility.

Minnis who has served more than 40 years as a medical doctor, will volunteer his services to help the country in its vaccination drive.

“I’ve had a discussion with my Cabinet and gotten agreement from Cabinet colleagues that as a medical doctor, I will volunteer my services with other medical colleagues to assist in the vaccination of the Bahamian populace throughout the country.”

The big story

The country has had a total of 15,046 cases of the virus since the pandemic began. Thirty-five new cases were reported on Monday and the death of a 36-year-old woman was reported by health officials.

Since the introduction of the vaccine, it has been met with hesitancy, and the issuance was limited to second doses only since supplies were low.

This new tranche means more residents and citizens, wanting to take the jab, can be inoculated as vaccination centers reopen.

State of play

While many argue that vaccinated people can contract the virus too, Minnis said, the unvaccinated face more dire consequences.

“It is the unvaccinated who are dying. It is the unvaccinated who are becoming sick. It is the unvaccinated who are hospitalized. It is the unvaccinated who are utilizing the intensive care unit.”

Dr. Nikkiah Forbes, Director of the Infectious Disease Programme at the Ministry of Health stated last week that more than 98% of hospitalizations and deaths at the Princess Margaret Hospital are unvaccinated people.