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Bahamian Politics Last Updated: Mar 9, 2017 - 11:52:15 AM

FNM Leader Remarks at Ratification of FNM Candidates
By The Free National Movement
Mar 8, 2017 - 10:38:21 AM

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Nassau, Bahamas - Remarks Honorable Dr. Hubert Minnis, MP Leader of the Free National Movement Ratification of FNM Candidates Tuesday March 7, 2017 - The PLP is a Grave Threat and Danger to The Bahamas:

F-N-Ms, Good evening:

We are here tonight to officially ratify Pakesia Parker for West End and Bimini, Shanendon Cartwright for St. Barnabas, Vaughn Miller for Golden Isles, Brent Symonette for St. Anne’s and yours truly for Killarney.

Let me begin by saying something about the fires near and at the New Providence landfill and dump.

I want to thank all of the officials for their heroic and hard work in combatting the fire and helping the residents of Jubilee Gardens.

I wish to thank the fire service, the Police and Defence Forces, officials from Environmental Health, and the many other government agencies who worked together to help save lives and property.

There are so many dedicated public servants in our Bahamas who deserve our praise and our gratitude. In times of emergency and crisis, they are on the frontline defending and protecting us. On behalf of us all, I offer them profound gratitude.


The government of the day promised on numerous occasions to address the issues at the dump. Just like their broken promises on comprehensive National Health Insurance, jobs and combatting crime, the PLP failed to fulfill their repeated promises about the dump.

One of the daily newspapers noted in an editorial on the landfill:

“The tragedy of PLP failure in this matter is that people are losing property. Their health is being harmed.

“They are being displaced. Shelters had to open last night to house those in the direct path of the fires.”

The editorial went on to say:

“The next government of The Bahamas has to modernize waste disposal and landfill management with urgency. Christie was neither serious about, nor focused on, the issue.”

The failure of his administration is there for all to see. Bahamians even had to organize in the hundreds to march in protest at the mass pollution caused by regular fires at the New Providence landfill.”

“While the health and safety of our people is the major concern with the site, there are also major commercial considerations. The multibillion-dollar Baha Mar resort is near the landfill.”

The editorial also noted:

“It baffles us that a prime minister would not have moved sensible policy to fix this problem. Christie has spent five years looking at dump fires.”

“He has spent five years smelling the smoke. He will soon be back on the campaign trail telling Bahamians his party is the best to lead the country.”

The editorial concluded:

“We are certain that based on the lack of results to improve the lives of Bahamians, few will believe that claim.”

The same man, who stuck up his middle finger at the Bahamian people, is now going around pretending that his government bears no responsibility for the disaster at the dump.

Christie is now pretending that the dump problem is something relatively new. He is conveniently forgetting that his government gave a contract to a crony company to manage the landfill. The company was another PLP failure and another disaster. They are the masters of disasters. The company got plenty money from the government; another example of waste.

I don’t only want to know where the VAT money gone.

I want to know about all the waste of government money, from VAT, from Customs duties, from Road Traffic fees, and from everywhere else.

“Where all the money gone?”

After coming to office, the FNM will expose the waste and the corruption, including the waste of VAT money.

In a vulgar display of public relations, Christie is now saying that his government is on the verge of seriously addressing the problems at the dump. He should take his trash talk and empty it at the dump. If the PLP couldn’t fix the dump problem in five years, they can’t fix it in a matter of months.

I pledge on behalf of the Free National Movement to provide the resources, funds, material and management needed to modernize waste management in New Providence.

Christie will talk about it. I will get it done.


Let me tell you something about Emperor Perry Gladstone Christie.

Whenever there’s a crisis or a problem, he rushes to the scene of the problem, offering big talk and grand gestures. Then the next day or so he goes on television or radio to make a big display about how’s he’s going to address the problem. Well you know what usually happens next.

Absolutely nothing.

His talk and promises are like clouds of smoke -- spectacular to watch, but then they fade into thin air. Just ask the people of Grand Bahama. Perry and the PLP promised Grand Bahama everything under the sun. They wasted money on a government ministry for Grand Bahama, which has little authority to do anything. The ministry was yet another big public relations exercise.

After Royal Oasis closed on their watch, Christie and the PLP were still promising wonderful things to Grand Bahama. Royal Oasis has not reopened. Now Memories has closed on their watch. Between Royal Oasis and Memories, 1600 jobs have been lost at these properties, all on the PLP’s watch.

Just as they failed the people in Grand Bahama and Freeport, Christie and the PLP have utterly failed to address the problems at the New Providence landfill. What makes the tourism situation in Grand Bahama so sad, is that the Minister of Tourism hails from Grand Bahama. Obediah Wilchcombe has been a spectacular failure as Minister of Tourism.

Pakesia Parker is going to win West End and Bimini, and retire Obie from frontline politics. Change is coming to Grand Bahama.

FNMs; Fellow Bahamians:

The FNM is the party of change. Just as we did beginning in 1992 and again in 2007, under my leadership, the FNM will usher in a new era of reform and modernization.

We are a party of overwhelmingly new talent and new faces. The FNM is the party of new ideas. I took it as my mission to make sure that the FNM offered to the Bahamian people a bold new team to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. We are a new FNM.

The PLP’s slogan should be: “Forward Never, Backwards Ever.” Of the 16 candidates the PLP recently ratified, 11 of them are the same people who served in what has been the worst government since we achieved independence. These are the same people who wrecked the country in the past five years.

If you want change and a new direction for the country you have to fire them and hire the FNM.

Christie has been in Parliament since 1974, before most Bahamians were born. He doesn’t know when it’s time to go; he doesn’t know how to bow out gracefully. Hands down, Perry Christie has been the worst leader of our country since we got internal self-rule from the British. He believes he should be Prime Minister for life.

He never got the message that the Bahamian people are tired of politicians who hang on for life. We got the message in the FNM, which is why we are presenting such a diverse slate of candidates.

We are offering change, we are offering experience and we are offering diversity.

I am pleased that Pakesia Parker, who has a background in mass communication, will be our candidate in West End and Bimini.

Pakesia has deep roots in Grand Bahama, including many years of community service.

Shanendon Cartwright, our standard bearer in St. Barnabas, has a background in marketing and business. He has performed community service in the area of youth development.

Vaughn Miller, our candidate for Golden Isles, has been involved in religious ministry for many years. Vaughn is also a popular talk show host.

Brent Symonette, our candidate in St. Anne’s, has an extensive background in business and finance. Brent also has Cabinet experience and is well known to all of us.

FNMS; Fellow Bahamians:

The greatest threat to the peace and prosperity of The Bahamas is the Progressive Liberal Party. The PLP is a threat to our way of life. The PLP is a grave threat to our economy. The PLP is a major threat to our democracy and our freedom.

Under Christie we are experiencing some of the worst unemployment ever in the history of the modern Bahamas. Thousands upon thousands have no jobs and little to no hope. Christie and the PLP nearly destroyed Baha Mar, which costs the country hundreds of millions and thousands of jobs. Every time the PLP touched the Baha Mar project, they created even more of a disaster. Remember how many times Christie promised the grand opening of Baha Mar. I stop counting. Nobody knows when Baha Mar will open.

Perry Christie is the Master of Disaster! The PLP are the Masters of Disasters!

FNMS; Brothers and Sisters:

Christie and the PLP have forced our economy down on its knees. They gambled on a Carnival that has now cost approximately $25 million dollars and counting. The PLP reduced us to junk bond status. Perry Christie has embarrassed The Bahamas by turning our country into junk bond status. Christie has embarrassed The Bahamas through his spectacular failures at Baha Mar.

The ZNS Propaganda Station might buy and sell his talking fool and his hype and hoopla. But the world media know this kind of confidence game. They know who is sincere and authentic, and who is trying to con them.

A photo is worth more than 10,000 fancy and empty words. Christie embarrassed The Bahamas before the world when he recently used the crudest of gestures. And this from the man who likes to brag about being so articulate.

I will never embarrass you like that. Never.

While he is at it, let Christie talk about how he was a high priced consultant for an oil exploration company. Of course, the international media already know Christie is a hypocrite. He took money from people who want to drill for oil in the waters of The Bahamas. Then he goes around the world pretending to be concerned about climate change, rising sea levels, and the threat to our coral and marine life from ocean pollution.

When I was young, I dreamed of being a marine biologist. I love the ocean and the marine life of The Bahamas. I see the great potential of our waters for things like sustainable tourism and fisheries, aquaculture and renewable energy.

As prime minister I will protect our waters.

I can speak in an authentic manner when I talk to the international media about my vision to protect the pristine beauty of The Bahamas. Christie can’t do that. He has no credibility. I can also speak to the global media about my vision for a revolution in sustainable and renewable energy for The Bahamas.

What Christie should tell the world media, is that his government tried to cover up the Rubis affair. They put the lives of Bahamian children and families at great risk; and tried to cover it up.

And while he’s talking, let him talk about the $2.1 billion dollar jackpot to gamble away and sell off 20,000 acres on Andros; let him talk about the plot to give to foreigners the right to do commercial fishing in our waters.

I don’t need fancy language to tell the world that my FNM government will protect Bahamian fishing for Bahamians.

Fellow Bahamians:

Five more years of the PLP may mean a devaluation of our dollar and slashes in salaries and benefits for public officers.

The PLP have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars.

They are spending our money, including VAT, like drunken soldiers with no limit credit cards.

They are extravagant and wasteful people. The rumor is that they might increase VAT to 15 to 20 per cent if they win again. If this happens, they will go on the greatest spending spree in Bahamian history. They will be worse than Blackbeard and the pirates of old who used to plunder with zeal and without mercy. The PLP pirates, led by Captain Christie, will leave the Public Treasury dead broke.

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Under Christie and the PLP, our health care has gotten worse. Under Christie and the PLP, our government-operated education system is in decline. Perry Christie utterly failed Bahamians on health care and education. He betrayed the middle class on mortgage relief. While living lavishly on our VAT money, the PLP presided over increased poverty and growing income inequality.

Fellow Bahamians:

Many people are frightened about this proposed legislation to intercept certain communications. I see that the legislation is being postponed for public consultation. Why didn’t they consult the public in the first place before bringing this bill forward?

We need to give the police all the tools they need to fight crime and gang violence. But I’m very uncomfortable with the legislation because I don’t trust the PLP. I certainly don’t trust the timing of this bill right before an election. That’s the problem. People simply do not trust the PLP not to abuse and corrupt this power.

I am also very concerned that the PLP candidate for Central and South Eleuthera recently headed up the National Intelligence Agency. Something is not right about this. It smells. I will have more to say about this in due course.

But how can you trust a government when one of their Ministers, Jerome Fitzgerald, used the floor of the House of Assembly to read people’s private emails – emails that could only have been acquired by illegal means? Under the circumstances it is reasonable to ask whether their National Intelligence Agency was responsible for that.

This spy agency has no authorization from Parliament. If they do that outside the law, imagine what they will do with this new law. The PLP promised over and over again to bring legislation to the House on the National Intelligence Agency. But they failed to bring the legislation. Why is this? What is going on? What is the PLP hiding?

Fellow Bahamians:

There’s a lot of noise in the market, and the noise will get louder as the election gets closer. The big headlines shout out about confusion and disarray in the ranks of the opposition. Well, I want to tell you tonight that there might be confusion and disarray out there. But there is no confusion in the FNM; there is no disarray in the FNM. We are not a part of that squabbling. We finish with that!

The FNM is all together. The FNM door is always open. But we are going about our business. And our business is the people’s business. We are getting ready to win the election. We are getting our team in place. We are getting ready to govern. We are not waiting for anyone. We are not waiting until they get their massive egos sorted out.

If you want to get rid of the PLP; if you want a new government, there is only one way to go and that is FNM.

Only the FNM can defeat the PLP. A vote for any independent is a vote for the PLP.

And, as I told you before, if you go to bed with the DNA, you’ll wake up with the PLP.

There are some nice people in the DNA, but I want to tell them tonight that they are being misled. There was never any good reason for the existence of the DNA. The only reason was the ego of one man, one man who couldn’t wait his turn.

This one man was offended because he thought his full talents were not being utilized by our former Prime Minister. That’s what Bran McCartney said. Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham made him Minister of State. But instead of being grateful for the opportunity to serve in that position, Bran was peeved. Bran wanted to be full Minister so he could display his enormous talents; then he wanted to be prime minister so he could demonstrate his great brilliance.

Mind you, all he did when he was Minister of State was grandstand. He got in the way grandstanding as Immigration officers did their job with illegal immigrants. In the last election Bran caused the PLP to win. He broke ranks and caused all the pain and suffering we had to endure at the hands of the PLP in the last five years.

I don’t believe Bahamians are going to make that same mistake again.

The FNM under my leadership will not pander to outsize egos. We will not be blackmailed. We will not enter into any deals that will bring about instability in Bahamian governance. We are getting on with the people’s business and we have much to do.

The challenges facing our country today are enormous. We have much to do. We have no more time for foolishness.

We invite all those who are really serious about change – not individual egos – to throw their support behind the FNM. That is our only hope for a better future for ourselves, for our children, for our country.


I need you to register as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Let us be about the people’s business because, “It’s the People’s Time.” Our FNM team is made up of Bahamians you can believe in.

Christie and his cabinet are not Bahamians we can believe in, because they don’t believe in Bahamians.

We will rescue our Bahamas and restore hope and opportunity.

God bless our Bahamas.

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