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Friday, September 24, 2021

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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.

 

Meet Davis’ Remaining Cabinet Members

Eleven cabinet ministers were sworn in on Wednesday, totalling 21 Cabinet members to be a part of Prime Minister Philip Davis’ administration.

  • Obie Wilchcombe: Social Services and Urban Development
  • Keith Bell: Labor and Immigration
  • Vaughn Miller: Environment and Natural Resources
  • Jobeth Colby-Davis: Transport and Housing
  • Ginger Moxey: Grand Bahama
  • Mario Moxey: Youth, Sports and Culture
  • Basil McIntosh: State for the Environment
  • Myles Laroda: State in the Office of the Prime Minister
  • Pia Glover: State for Public Service
  • Lisa Rahming: State for Social Services
  • Zane Lightbourne: State for Education and Technical and Vocational Training

 

Meet Davis’ Cabinet Members

Eight members of the Cabinet were sworn in on Monday afternoon to serve as ministers in the Davis-led administration.

Prime Minister Philip Davis said they will “deliver the party’s promise of a new day.”

  1. Fred Mitchell–Minister of Foreign Affairs. He is an outspoken member of the PLP and was party chairman. He served in the Perry Christie administration in the same position in 2012. When the PLP lost in 2017, he lost his seat but was appointed PLP senator.
  2. Glennys Hanna-Martin–Minister of Education and Vocational Training. She has been a longtime member of the PLP, having served in the Christie administration in 2012 as Minister of Transport and Aviation. The party lost in 2017, but she retained her seat and was one of four PLPs who returned to the Parliament as the opposition.
  3. Michael Darville–Minister of Health. He was the MP for Pineridge and Minister of Grand Bahama in 2012 in the Christie administration. When his party lost, he became a PLP senator.
  4. Michael Halkitis–Minister of Economic Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate. He lost to the FNM in the 2021 election. He served in the Christie administration as the Minister of State for Finance in 2012.
  5. Clay Sweeting–Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs. He ran against FNM MP Ricky Martin in 2017 and lost. The fisherman was then appointed a PLP senator in the Upper Chamber.
  6. Alfred Sears–Minister of Works and Utilities. He was the Member of Parliament for Fort Charlotte from 2000 to 2012 and served in the Christie administration. He lost his seat to the FNM in 2017. He once served as Minister of Education and as Attorney General in the Christie administration.
  7. Wayne Munroe–Minister of National Security. He is a prominent lawyer. He ran in 2017 for the PLP but lost to the FNM. He was also a former DNA member.
  8. Jomo Campbell–Minister of State for Legal Affairs. He is new to politics and is believed to be a lawyer in Wayne Munroe’s office.

Davis said his Cabinet “will move with urgency, that this moment requires.”

Governor-General C.A Smith asked that the country “set aside differences until next five years.” He added, “Don’t worry about tomorrow. Let’s unite and together make a better Bahamas.”

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.

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.

‘Growing Pains’ at the Advance Polls

As voters cast their ballots at the advance polls on Thursday, many news agencies have characterized the process as ‘not smooth.’

   

Voters turned out in large numbers at polling stations, standing in long lines and complaining of the wait time.

Sporadic crowds were seen at some stations as the COVID-19 Task Force sought to ensure order to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Former PM Hubert Ingraham said he nor his wife’s name was on the list for the advance poll.

Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham left the polling station frustrated after he complained that his name was not listed at either of the two polling divisions he attended.

He later returned and was allowed to vote after an apology by Parliamentary Commissioner Lavado Duncanson.

But Minister of National Security Marvin Dames with responsibility for the Parliamentary Registration Department said he is “not surprise” at the complaints and agitation by some voters due to the increased number of voters including the elderly, allowed to vote at the advance polls.

Senior citizens are allowed to vote early to prevent exposure to the virus and long waits on lines on Election Day.

Dames said, “We would have recently had amendments to the Act. In 2017, we had a central area where advance poll voters were allowed to come and vote. That was when we had some 3,000 voters.  This is like a mini election. We have 30,000 voters.

“You’re going to have your growing pains. This is the first time we are doing this. The growing pains are not significant to really impact people’s right to vote. People are being allowed to exercise their right to vote,” Dames said.

He said his team will “continue to forge forward” and debrief to ensure a smoother running on September 16.

Roberts Threatens to Reveal Damning Details on Bain if Pushed

Former Coalition of Independents member Wellington Roberts said he would reveal damning details about the party if members persist in criticizing his decision to leave and support the Progressive Liberal Party.

“I ain’t tell the full story. If I tell the full story, the wall of Jericho will come crumbling down,” Roberts warned.

When Roberts initially resigned from the COI, he cited health, safety, and financial concerns after receiving the nomination to run for the party in the North Andros and the Berry Island constituency.

However, on Monday, Roberts insisted there were other reasons why he left the party, “that I would not mention at this time.”

Since the move to leave the party, Roberts has received backlash on social media with many calling him a “traitor.”

Roberts said on Monday during a social media live, “I ain’t tell the full story yet. I am begging you and your organization to leave me alone. The slick jeers, the slick comments…you’ll leave me alone.”

He spoke directly to Bain, “Talk to them, because you’ll control them. They are you’ll ‘blackanites,’ ‘COInites,’ ‘Lincolnites.’ Talk to them. Leave me alone. Let sleeping dogs lie. I ain’t tell the full story.”

Why it matters

Roberts was considered an influential member of the third-party COI before his resignation. He garnered a large number of social media followings as he worked with Bain to expose “corruption” that they said are in the governing party and the PLP.

On the day of his resignation, he was seen dressed in a PLP shirt standing with Opposition Leader Philip Davis, while campaigning for the party.

Roberts said he now supports the PLP’s candidate for the North Andros and the Berry Islands Leonardo Lighbourne

COI Candidate Charged with Inciting Riot and Disorderly Behaviour, Jumped on PLP Bandwagon

The North Andros candidate for the  Coalition of Independence Wellington Roberts dropped his bid for election and jumped ship to join the Progressive Liberal Party.

In a viral post, 36-year-old Roberts is seen dressed in PLP attire while campaigning with the opposition party.

Roberts is a self-proclaimed comedian and a known critic of the Free National Movement and the Progressive Liberal Party and has spoken publicly against the two major political parties.

He jumped to social media fame during a protest Down Town when furloughed Atlantis workers demonstrated for severance pay. Roberts was arrested for inciting unrest and disorderly behavior.

His decision to join forces with the PLP has provoked a response from the COI who confirmed the resignation of Roberts.

“Many people are weak and will sell out their nation for a bowl of porridge,” the party said.

The COI led by Lincoln Bain, is a newly formed party that has branded itself as an advocate of the country’s natural resources, and said, despite Roberts’ resignation, the party will “remain committed to standing with and for Bahamians who are dissatisfied with the state this country is in.”

However, Roberts has since released a short statement on social media claiming his decision was  made “in the best interest of myself, family and country.”

Roberts was in court on Tuesday for trial and maintained a not guilty plea to the charges levied against him. Magistrate Samuel McKinney is set to make a ruling on the matter next month.

(Roberts is seen on the right in featured photo)

Pastor Wells Stands Firm with Davis: Don’t Talk Bad About ‘Brave’

Pastor of Living Waters Kingdom Ministries Raymond Wells is taking a stand against anyone who criticizes PLP Leader Philip Davis.

Wells took to the podium in his Sunday morning service to defend Davis and speak out against Prime Minister Hubert Minnis for insulting Davis’ reputation.

Wells is a prominent pastor in the country and a close friend of the opposition party members. The PLP’s church service was recently held at his sanctuary on Warren Street, off Thompson Boulevard.

During his Sunday morning service, Wells said, “Don’t use this campaign to assassinate others’ character. That’s what incompetent leaders do,” to cheers and handclaps from his congregation.

Shouting into the microphone, Wells told his congregation, “That’s what visionless leaders do. Visionless leaders stand up on a platform and assassinate others’ character because they have nothing else to say.

“We have a generation who don’t want to hear anything about ‘Brave’, nothing about anyone else. We want to hear where ya taking us.”

Wells then said he could make better use of his time doing other activities, instead of listening to campaign speeches about Davis.

“I aint gat the time to turn my tv on when I could be reading a good book or at least making some love to my wife, hallelujah, glory to God, and listen to you talk about who don’t like ‘Brave’, dis bout ‘Brave’, dat bout ‘Brave’.”

The big story

In wake of a General Election, Minnis held a drive-in rally last week where he criticized Davis’ ability to lead the country citing the poor conditions of his constituency, Cat Island and San Salvador, which Davis has represented for nearly 40-years.

Minnis called Davis a “lousy” representative.

Minnis and Davis Have Different Campaign Styles, but Both Battle Over Vaccinations

As the Free National Movement hosted another night of its drive-in rallies in Eleuthera, the Progressive Liberal Party opted for a different campaign, a television-style programme to highlight the government’s “failures” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

After putting its drive-in rallies on hold, citing high cases of death and hospitalizations in the country due to COVID-19, PLP Leader Philip Davis faced the camera to deliver a critical message of the government’s handling of the pandemic and the collapsing health care system.

“Why is the competent Authority dancing, instead of fixing the problems? Where is his sense of urgency? Where is his sense of decency? …Don’t tell me it had to be this bad,” Davis said while looking onto the lens of a camera to his supporters.

Davis said if the PLP is elected to govern the country, it will implement measures besides vaccinations, to fight the infectious disease, which would include high-quality masks, educational town hall meetings on vaccines, and ventilation and air filtration measures to reduce virus particles in facilities. Davis said vaccinations alone won’t prevent the spread of the virus.

While on a stage in Eleuthera as supporters sat in their cars and blew horns, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said vaccinations are the only way out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minnis prided his government’s securement of nearly half a million doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

He dismissed Davis’ ability to lead the country in the middle of a pandemic, citing his “lousy” representation of Cat Island and San Salvador.

“Davis can only show plans of what could have been done (in Cat Island and San Salvador). He was deputy prime minister and minister of works. He did not use his power to help his people

“A lousy MP will make a lousy prime minister.”