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Cash slams PLP appointments

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: Oct 03, 2013

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Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash yesterday accused the government of “political patronage” and "nepotism", claiming that an inordinate number of Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) members have been hired since the Christie administration came to office.

But PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts branded Cash's claims as a "feeble attempt to manufacture the facts, chase shadows and whip up hysteria within his party's base”.

Roberts was responding to a statement by Cash which hit out at the government over perceived political appointments.

"Recently, press reports revealed what the FNM had been aware of for almost a year — that Prime Minister Christie, as minister of finance with responsibility for the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB), has appointed Mrs. Arinthia S. Komolafe, former president of the PLP's Women's Association, to the position of managing director of the Bahamas Development Bank," Cash said in the statement. "As the BDB Act clearly prescribes, and as the release clearly implies, this is the prime minister’s appointment."

Cash, who was chairman of the BDB under the former Ingraham administration, said the appointment is another example of the government's belief that "only PLPs are qualified and can be trusted to hold senior positions in the government corporations and agencies controlled/influenced by the government."

Cash said this is also evidenced by the appointments at the National Insurance Board (NIB) and the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC).

In his own statement, Roberts noted that Christie was elected to clean up the “mess” created by the former administration.

“Prime Minister Christie is responsible and legally empowered to make decisions in the best interest of the Bahamian people," Roberts said.

"The former administration, Cash’s party, made many decisions as the government that turned out to be disastrous for The Bahamas. Left in their wake was an economy in shambles where not one job was created; our fiscal situation was left in dire straits where an additional $2 billion was added to the national debt; crime spiraled out of control as experienced and competent senior police officers were sent home, and the FNM’s public works program was poorly managed and executed with hundreds of millions in cost overruns and airport terminals that cannot be occupied.

"This along with much human pain and suffering represented the mess Mr. Cash’s FNM left behind for Mr. Christie and the PLP to clean up; and he has the unmitigated gall to second-guess the prime minister? Mr. Cash and the FNM should hang their heads in shame, but they have no shame."

Roberts added that Cash should be the last person to talk about the approaches to governance and its effects on the Bahamian people.

But Cash insisted that the FNM continues to be concerned about political interference at some agencies.

He called on Christie to demonstrate that he is interested in building unity outside party lines.

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