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oppositionleader

Saturday, June 3, 2023

oppositionleader

Minnis Lost But He Just Won’t Go Away

By now it is apparent, former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis is not going away gracefully.

He is not a former prime minister and former party leader who would say, “I lost fair and square. I wish the new leader of the Free National Movement, all the best,” and then mean it.

Instead, he is steadfast in battling with his party’s leader, Michael Pintard, acting as the main speaker at the Garden Hills Constituency Association meeting, while Pintard was engaged as speaker in another constituency association meeting in Centerville, both going live on Facebook, simultaneously.

Dr Hubert Minnis addresses the Garden Hills Association
FNM Party Leader Michael Pintard addresses the Centerville Association on Tuesday.

“Mr Pintard is the leader and I respect leadership,” he told reporters on the sidelines, an attempt to downplay his actions.

Well, he should prove it. Everything he has done is in direct contrast to that statement and it has long been speculated that he is attempting a comeback. He appears to be undermining Pintard, which is causing division and tension in the party, he once led.

Minnis lost the early election that he called in 2021. Perhaps, he wants to right his wrongs since major failings were at his feet while he governed, which shows a degree of not listening to his advisors when he was in office. He should be commended though, because he governed at a time when the Bahamas suffered two major crises, of which he had no control–Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 Pandemic. And, he made doing business in the Bahamas, easier.

Former prime ministers fade into statesman-like figures–they are gracious and indicative of the title they held. But Minnis’ style is different. He is rouge and deceptive, and the role of a statesman, he will never adopt.

He will never come to a realization that his tenure as leader is over. He is likely to continue to campaign within constituencies in preparation to run in the next general election. Or, he is satisfied in basking in the allegiance of his supporters.

“I didn’t expect to see so many people here tonight,” he said in the introduction at the Garden Hills event.

Who believes that?

He and his supporters called the meeting. He is in campaign mode. He rallied his supporters behind closed doors. His intent is to show the allegiance of his followers. He wants to continue dividing the party to show the current party leader as weak.

His supporter told the Tribune, “It will be war” if Minnis is not permitted to speak at meetings in what they believe is an attempt to silence him.

Another told the Nassau Guardian, “They (FNM leadership) hate to respect Dr Minnis and all of his accomplishments under the previous administrations.”

If Minnis wishes to align with party goals, he would correct ill behavior or speech, and call for unity from his followers.

Yes, he is a parliamentarian and he has a right to speak to the concerns of his constituents, and his position as former PM gave him insight on national issues. But when his actions are counteractive to the party or may not be in the best interest of the party, or it gives an appearance of conflict, then he should stand down. Demonstrate unity. Use wisdom.

The FNM leadership must now be prepared to manage him and figure out how to counter his strategies.

Photo credit: Nassau Guardian

Prime Minister Davis ‘Us vs Them’ Mentality on the FTX Fiasco Is Manipulative

FTX, the 32-billion dollar exchange, with its headquarters in the Bahamas has made a mess of the crypto market since its collapse and has now become a global conversation.

As scrutiny arises, Prime Minister Philip Davis who has welcomed former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to the Bahamas has remained mum on the fiasco, only to say “those who care about our country’s reputation” should tread carefully when they speak about the complex matter involving FTX which he says is still “unfolding.”

“There is a reason that the Bahamas won international praise for the approach we have taken, to date, on digital assets, and there is also plenty of room to have a healthy debate about the industry, but this is a story that has the world’s attention, and those who use it to mislead and score cheap political points are no patriots,” Davis said.

His comments in the House of Assembly are manipulative and are steeped in an antiquated belief system.

It’s an attempt to keep the public quiet while the world talks about the issue and suggests that to ask questions, you’re doing something wrong.

It also suggests that any attempt to discuss FTX is “unpatriotic” and will ruin the country’s image.

Davis attempts to implement an ‘us versus them’ mentality which can be destructive, divides the Bahamas from the rest of the world, and forces Bahamians to pick a side and automatically make judgments about the other side without taking a realistic view of what happened.

Opposition Leader Michael Pintard then responded stating that he was surprised “at the brevity and to a large extent, the hollowness” of the prime minister’s remarks on the downfall of FTX.

“We are facing a substantial risk to our financial services sector and one would’ve expected that since the international community’s eyes are trained on the Commonwealth of The Bahamas that on this occasion that this Davis-Cooper administration would’ve thought it necessary to break its silence much earlier with a far more comprehensive statement given the gravity of this.”

There may be circumstances where Davis’ concept of waiting until all the evidence is brought to the forefront before making allegations, could be applied, but FTX is global.  The fiasco is not a secret. The world’s a global village.

Bankman-Fried was a crypto sensation living and working in the Bahamas and rubbed shoulders with prominent US politicians and A-list celebrities. Therefore, his headquarters in the Bahamas will bring scrutiny.

Of course, Bahamians have questions and they deserve to be answered and one’s patriotism should not be based on the questions they have about FTX’s dealings and connection to the governing party.

Bahamians deserve to know more from Davis and he should willingly answer any of the questions from the Opposition leader such as did the PLP accept donations from Bankman-Fried, did it hold digital wallets with FTX, and whether it did its due diligence to screen the company before its operation in the Bahamas.

Davis should not expect Bahamians to stick to his script.

Minnis Sworn in as Opposition Leader

Former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis was officially sworn in on Friday as Leader of the Opposition.

When Parliament meets, Minnis will be joined by other opposition members including St. Anne’s MP Adrian White, Long Island MP Adrian Gibson, East Grand Bahama MP Kwasi Thompson and Marco City MP Michael Pintard, Central Grand Bahama MP Iram Lewis, and St Barnabas MP Shanendon Cartwright.

Following swearing-in ceremony, Minnis said he hopes the government continue with plans to recruit young Bahamians for further education abroad for leadership positions in government entities. Minnis said he will hold the government accountable.

The big picture

Following last week’s General Election, the Minnis led adminstration lost, only winning 7 out of the 39 seats, after battling the fallouts of Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Progressive Liberal Party led by former opposition leader, Philip Davis won the 32 seats.

Why it matters

Since the defeat of the Free National Movement, council members met to determine the future leadership of the party. After a vote, the party decided to keep Minnis as leader until November when a convention is held. A new leader will be picked to lead the party forward. Minnis said he will not contest the leadership post.

 

Minnis Stays Until…November

Former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis will lead the official opposition when Parliament meets again, following a vote to consider a new leader for the Free National Movement after a crushing defeat at the electoral poll.

Party Chairman Carl Culmer said Minnis will stay on as leader until November when the party holds a convention. Minnis will not contest the leadership post at the convention.

The big picture

Nearly 300 members of the council met on Wednesday evening to decide whether or not Minnis will stay on as leader when the House of Assembly meets.

This meeting follows a 17-12 vote by the executive board for Minnis to remain leader of the party until November.

Minnis won his Killarney seat, but his party lost, only retaining 7 seats.

Minnis’ fate has become the topic of discussion since the party’s loss. In 2012, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham resigned his position as FNM leader and as parliamentarian after his party lost the election.

Who are the possible contenders?

Former Cabinet Minister and MP for Marco City Michael Pintard, Former Minister of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson and MP for St Barnabas Shandendon Cartwright all of whom have won their seats, are the favourites to succeed Minnis.

Public Reacts to DJ Khaled Shoutout to Davis Ahead of General Election

DJ Khaled’s shoutout to Opposition Leader Philip Davis ahead of the General Election is met with mixed reactions from the Bahamian public.

DJ Khaled Instagram post of Opposition Leader Philip Davis

On Tuesday, the famous American artist and producer posted a picture of Davis on Instagram, stating, “Bless up to PLP and Brave Davis.”

The post received nearly 18,000 views by Tuesday afternoon.

Some posters were surprised at the shoutout.

One poster, _cloud3 said, “Brave money long,” while another, Khadijahrahming said, “…Brave can’t be this desperate.”

Lov3_doll asked, “Which island he promised you?”

Briismk questioned, “What is going on here?”

“Do you even know the information and the credibility behind this man?” Shellz_mac questioned.

Others were in support of the post.

Okayjaydee said, “I know das right.”

“You’re the best,” said Bouche_doux.

Mmg_martin said, “Even the dog says to vote PLP.”

Some posters expressed their support for the incumbent Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

Rashead_serenity like many others said, “We [are] still rocking with Doc Minnis.”

Khaled is considered a “hype man” who unites the older generation of hip-hop with teens and young adults.

Here’s What Happened in the House of Assembly

House of Assembly Speaker Halson Moultrie said he tested negative for COVID-19 following sterilization of the House of Assembly after a staff member contracted the virus.

As only a small number of parliamentarians showed up at the House at Wednesday’s meeting, Moultrie said, “I am most grateful to the honorable members who decided to attend this morning to carry on the people’s business wich on occasion is time-sensitive.

“We are in compliance with the COVID-19 protocol as indicated. I requested of the staff as well as myself as recommended to members to take the COVID19 test.

“I have taken the test yesterday. The result is negative. The Clerk has taken the test. The result is negative. Several other members and staff will be taking the test today,” he said.

Why were some members not present?

On Tuesday, Moultrie announced that a parliamentary staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health initiated contact tracing to determine the level of exposure to employees.

The House of Assembly and Senate were deep cleaned and sanitized and persons who interacted with the employee were required to quarantine.

Who was absent?

Members of the governing party were noticeably absent with only a small number in attendance. However, no member of the opposition attended the House’s seating, as Independent MP Reece Chipman sat alone on the opposition side of the House.

This prompted a response from Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

“It’s unfortunate that the leader of the opposition is not here. We all know that the leader of the opposition had COVID and the leader of the opposition has antibodies. With all intent and purposes, the leader of the opposition is immune.

“He is the safest in this country at this time. He is immune and that immunity may last for 3 to 6 months. We don’t know the duration but we do know that he is the safest in this country at this time. So it’s unfortunate that he is not here,” Minnis said.

However, all members will be deemed present for Wednesday’s session.

What documents were tabled?

  • The Emergency Power Covid-19 Number 6 Amendment Order 2020
  • The Environmental Planning and Protection Extension of Application Order 2020

At the next sitting of the House on Wednesday 23rd, the House will debate the extension of the emergency order to October 31st.

Featured Photo: The Tribune