Saturday, June 3, 2023


Arinthia Komolafe Emerges and Seems to Have Joined Forces With the FNM

When Arinthia Komolafe was elected leader of third party Democratic National Alliance in 2017, after her party’s defeat in the General Election, the attorney and banker who became a household name, seemed like a sure thing for the 2021 general election. But her 2021 campaign was a nonstarter–averaging over 1 percent in the polls.

Komolafe who never held an elected office, resigned from her party in December 2021 and seemed to have vanished from the spotlight. That’s until she was seen at Free National Movement’s Eastern District Meeting on Monday night.

Another DNA candidate in the 2021 election, Theophilus Coakley who ran for Tall Pines, is also seen at the FNM Meeting on Monday night

She made no declarations but her presence alone could mean a pivot for the FNM’s run in the next election. It’s likely she will contend for a seat.

When Komolafe resigned from her party she said she never intended to leave front-line politics and would consider an offer from a major party.

“Everything I do in my life, I have to pray and I have to meditate about it. For me, politics has always been a vehicle. It is a vehicle to bring forth a vision that I’ve been carrying for years — for where I feel this country should go and needs to be,” she said at the time.

“So, any decision I take in terms of frontline politics has to be an environment where I believe that vision is able to be brought to pass. I’m not just looking to be a politician. I could’ve done that long time.”

As DNA member and leader, Komolafe said she was propositioned by both major parties but she declined. “The fact of the matter is I was too deep in. I had done too much work and I thought the organization deserved a fighting chance and the reality is based on my morals and ethics as a captain. I could not abandon ship though the storms were raging.”

Third parties are bound to fail in the Bahamas and the DNA suffered that fate miserably though voters vented their anger at the governing party and condemned the country’s two-party system.

Komolafe acknowledged at her resignation, the failings of third parties like the DNA and believed if she was on the ticket of a major party, she would have already been elected as a member of parliament.

As a third party, most of her gripes were directed at then Prime Minister Hubert Minnis whom she referred to as ‘Pharoah’ because of his ‘draconian’ approach to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Michael Pintard at the helm of the FNM party, Komolafe seems content to follow his lead and will likely be a contender in the next general election, converting swing voters to FNM gains.

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

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden Wishes to Resign Before Election: ‘I Don’t Have the Energy’

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, known for her strict handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is set to resign within weeks, admitting she does not have the energy to seek re-election in the upcoming elections in October.

What Jacinda Arden says

“The decision was my own,” Ardern said. “Leading a country is the most privileged job anyone could ever have, but also the most challenging. You cannot and should not do the job unless you have a full tank, plus a bit in reserve for those unplanned and unexpected challenges.”

“I no longer have enough in the tank to do the job justice,” she added.

The big picture

Arden’s term will end by February 7, when a new Labour prime minister will be sworn in.

New Zealand’s general election will be held on October 14.

Arden became known as one of the youngest world leaders, serving as prime minister at 37 years old.

Jacinda Ardern Fast Facts | CNN

She gave birth while in office and was re-elected to a second term due to her “go hard and go early” approach to the pandemic, helping to control and lower the number of infections in the country, attracting praise from other countries battling infections.

Bain and COI Members Strike $1500 Bail 1 Day After Chaos Erupted in Parliament Square

Lincoln Bain, leader of the Coalition of Independents and eight members of his party were charged and released on bail following a clash with police in Parliament Square on Wednesday.

The group was reportedly detained overnight in jail and was charged before the Magistrates court on Thursday morning, facing a litany of charges including unlawful assembly, obstruction, assault, disorderly behavior and resisting arrest.

The group pleaded not guilty then was released on $1,500 bail.

They walked out of the front door of the Magistrates Court where they were greeted by cheering supporters. Bain and the eight accused were seen embracing the happy crowd which  shouted, “Freedom is a must.”

Bain and some members of the group showed up in Rawson Square on Wednesday to give parliamentarians a copy of their immigration proposal and wound up in a fight with officers after Bain was asked to move from the steps and work within the precincts of the square. 

A senior officer physically removed Bain from the steps when chaos erupted and he was eventually carried away in a police vehicle.

They will return to court on December 1.

They were represented by Maria Daxon and Donna Dorsette Major, both members of the COI.



Political Aspirant Launches Her Own Shoe Brand After Election Loss

Hillary Deveaux once dabbled in Bahamian politics and has since announced her new shoe line.

Wedge $199

Deveaux was a candidate in the 2021 General Election under the banner of the Democratic National Alliance in the Elizabeth Estates Constituency. Since her unsuccessful attempt for a seat in Parliament, she took a step in another direction—designing footwear for women and men.

In a social media post, a delighted Deveaux said, “So I launched my first shoe line, one shoe of many. Can God do it? Yes, he can.”

The retro line which includes runners, ballerinas, sandals, boots, stilettos and wedges, are handmade by an Italian craftsman and are outfitted with Italian leather.

They are available for purchase and range from $191 to $237. Check out the link for purchase: https://www.beautifulshoes.info/shoes

Ballerina flat $169
Retro runner $191
Ankle boot platform stiletto $229
Classic heel $189
Ankle strap heel $199
Luxe sandal $199
Ankle boot $189

What the Retirement of Police Commissioner Means for the Bahamas

It was a surprising and spontaneous announcement.

Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle will retire from the police force this year after nearly 40 years of service.

His exit comes after nearly two years as the police chief.

Clayton Fernander was appointed deputy commissioner in December, after the Progressive Liberal Party was elected. Many believe he will be the next Commissioner of Police.

The news has stirred speculation that Deputy Commissioner Clayton Fernander will succeed him at the end of his term. Though few expected his tenure to expire so soon after reassuring the public of an extended stay on the force, many anticipated his end was sooner since a new government was elected.

Here’s what you need to know:

Why is he retiring now?

Paul Rolle has been the Commissioner since 2020. He took on the role at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to navigate the pandemic and enforce the country’s COVID-19 measures.

While addressing reporters outside of a charitable event hosted by the RBPF, Rolle was asked about his tenure and unable to navigate the conversation, he blurted, “I met with the team this morning and I could say to you that I do intend to make my exit from the police force at some point. I will have 40 years and so I’m looking down the 40-year mark and I’ll make a decision on that in due course.”

He is four years away from retirement age but has already spent 40 years on the police force. An extension can be granted if the new government, the Progressive Liberal Party, really wants to.

Though governments dismiss that the appointment of commissioners is non-political, Bahamian history has shown that each elected government appoints police chiefs who align with their party’s philosophy and hasten the removal of those who do not.

In December, three months after the new government was elected, Rolle backed by Prime Minister Philip Davis sought to dismiss claims he would be replaced and said he had no plans to leave the Force. “I’m 56 and the Police Act says you could work until you’re 60, and the Pension Act says 65.”

What is Paul Rolle’s relationship with the present government?

Anthony Ferguson was succeeded by Paul Rolle.

Rolle was appointed Commissioner by the Free National Movement after the retirement of Anthony Ferguson.

During his tenure, he has faced public criticism for his management of the COVID19 rules which many deemed restrictive and unfair. Some street vendors like the Coconut boys were hauled before the courts for violating COVID-19 measures. It cast a negative light on the force at a time when many Bahamians were struggling to cope financially.

In addition, the killing of 6 men at once after their release from police custody and he labelling them as idiots, has caused mounting criticism.

When a new government was elected in September, the Progressive Liberal Party brought back senior officers sent on early retirement by the FNM, one being Fernander who the PLP later appointed deputy to Rolle.

What does his retirement mean for crime?

Rolle’s announcement comes at a sensitive time for the Bahamas when crime is surging as the country reopens its economy. Multiple murders a day and brazen shootings are on the rise and calls for a new approach to policing are becoming louder.

Rolle came up through the ranks of the police force with little street experience and more administrative experience. The opposite is true for Fernander who once a victim of crime when he escaped a near death experience during a robbery. He has risen within the ranks with the knowledge and experience necessary to deal with gangs and violent crimes.


Photo credit: Eye Witness News


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.



DNA Seeks to Protect Komolafe After Infighting. Just a PR Stunt?

Executive members of the Democratic National Alliance scrambled on Monday to contain the fallout from reports that a physical altercation occurred at its latest internal meeting.

In a series of social media posts, the party members sought to quiet the tensions and praise Komolafe’s leadership as it seeks to defend the DNA’s run for the next General Election.

President of the DNA’s Women’s Alliance, Marsha Thompson said, “It is disappointing to see those persons going out there and trying to bring down our leader, a leader who would have embraced them, a leader who went beyond the call of duty in trying to encourage them… I know within my heart, that God has called this leader for such a time as this,” she said.

The party’s Vice Chairman Jeffery Deleveaux said conflict within political parties should be expected.

“…as with any party, you will have expressions of pain, hurt [and] resentment, but we also have love, understanding, and unity. The DNA party stands committed in unity behind the capable leadership of Mrs. Komolafe….

“…The party is still a young party. Growing pains [are] inevitable,” he said.

The party’s newly elected Deputy Leader Stephen Nesbitt who took the post after Buscheme Armbrister stepped down for ‘personal reasons’ stated, “ I would like to endorse Mrs. Arinthia Komolafe as the next prime minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. She will make the Bahamian people proud. She will be the envy of the region, and ultimately, the envy of this world.

“I have seen under her leadership, the party grow from strength to strength.”

What happened

A former lawyer and advisor to the party Fayne Thompson and DNA’s candidate for Garden Hills Boyd Smith appeared on Beyond the Headlines hosted by Clint Watson on Friday evening, to tell their side of the story after the alleged physical assault was made public.

Both men stated that they were grieved with the party’s electoral process that saw the election of Nesbitt and Derek Smith as deputy leader and chairman, respectively.

Smith said, “There were major issues with the election process. It was not transparent and in violations of the resolutions passed in a meeting on July 1st. I wanted to bring that to the essential body and that was struck to be addressed.”

Thompson said he defended Smith’s position and was subsequently attacked by the party’s Communication Director Dietrich Carroll, “who literally, physically drove me into the wall because that was his means by which he displayed his displeasure taking issue in which the meeting was going on.”

Thompson said he then told Komolafe, “Control this body.”

Smith said he began recording the physical assault with his cell phone and was asked to stop by Komolafe’s husband, Emmanuel.

Mrs Komolafe then asked for his phone which he resisted. Smith said she took it out of his pocket and threw it to the ground, destroying the device.

“I tried to escape away from her in the corner where I was by the podium. Mrs Komolafe’s right hand, Armbrister charged toward me and pushed me into a chair. I got up and was protected by the security officer in the room.

“I really believe I was not going to survive if folks weren’t there to protect me,” Smith said.

Minnis Vows to Appoint More Women to Cabinet if Reelected

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis promises that if his administration is reelected in the next General Election, he will appoint more women to the Cabinet.

Why it matters

West End MP Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe was appointed as Minister of State in the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction, yesterday, making her the only woman in Cabinet, since the recent resignation of Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Lanisha Rolle. Parker-Edgecombe replaces Iram Lewis who replaced Rolle.

The big picture

Since Independence, two women have served as Governor Generals. Women have also headed the legislative and judicial branches, including as President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Assembly, President of the Court of Appeals and Chief Justice.

Currently, of the 16 members of the Senate, seven women are serving in that capacity.

Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt served in the Cabinet as Deputy Prime Minister.

What PM says about women leadership

The Prime Minister acknowledged that the representation of women in the Cabinet is at a historic low, given the previous number of women serving at that level.

“This is not good for our democracy or our society.

“In keeping with the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, I challenge myself, my party, other parties, the nation, and the women of the nation, in our collective determination to ensure that more women serve in Parliament and in the Cabinet.”

Is Vaughn Miller Fighting for Political Survival?

Golden Isles Member of Parliament Vaughn Miller announced in the House of Assembly on Wednesday that he will become a member of the Progressive Liberal Party, having left the Free National Movement in 2019 to become an independent candidate.

Miller who is also a pastor of Resurrection Ministries International Church, said he sought consultation with God, his wife and church leaders before he made his decision to join the opposition party.

Pastor Vaughn Miller at Resurrection Ministries International. Photo credit: FB

Miller has offered to run 2022 in the Golden Isles constituency for the PLP, and will now be seated near the opposition in the HOA until the next general election.

Vaughn Miller’s history in Golden Isles

Vaughn Miller in 2017 as an FNM candidate. Photo credit: FB

Miller won the Golden Isles constituency in 2017 by 3,374 votes, beating PLP’s Michael Halkitis by 56 percent of the vote.

But when Miller left the FNM in 2019, he lost the support of the area’s association.

The association’s president Brian Brown said Miller was never physically or mentally in the constituency, even before he resigned from the party. “After the firing for him voting against the VAT, things went downhill and that was it.”

Miller was fired as a parliamentary secretary in 2018, after he voted against the increase of Value Added Tax.

Brown said the constituents were disappointed in Miller’s representation, after giving him their full support in the May 2017 election.

Brown has now become the FNM’s candidate for Golden Isles and has began campaigning for the 2022 general election.

Where Miller stands with the PLP? He once called the PLP corrupt

Miller’s career as a politician began in 2017, as his party campaigned against the “inprecedented corruption” of the PLP, as they exposed evidence of financial mismanagement, neligence and nepotism.

As Miller jumped ship to the PLP, a new question arises. What changed about the PLP? The PLP has not yet proven that they have changed and that they can lead the Bahamas . Why now?

Was the switch for political survival? Miller can now be expected to be used as a prop by the PLP.

Miller in his speech during the debate, never gave his reasoning for joining the opposition, only to say he talked with Opposition Leader Philip Davis and that he always desired “to help people.”

“It is time to do what is best for me,” Miller said.

Davis in a press statement, said, “I have been speaking to Miller for some time. I think his experience mirrors that of many Bahamians who wanted to believe the promises made by the Free National Movement in 2017, but who came to realize that his governemnt has neither the intention nor the capacity to keep those promises.”

Chester Cooper described Miller’s switch as a “jubilant day.”

“A glad day, a glorious day as we welcome Miller to the party,” whom he said he always admired.

What’s next for Vaughn Miller?

Miller’s chances of winning in the 2022 as an independent candidate was slim to none, as Bahamians rarely select independent representatives for their constituency.

His chances of winning as a PLP candidate is also slim.

Although Miller offered to run as a PLP candidate for Golden Isles, it is yet to be seen if he is the party’s strongest candidate for the area in 2022.

Will his constituency follow his path to the PLP or will it remain an FNM stronghold in the next general election?

Miller will face an uphill challenge from the FNM candidate for Golden Isles.


Featured Image: The Tribune