Christie vows to save country from Minnis
Published: Mar 17, 2017
With the election season intensifying, Prime Minister Perry Christie is pushing his message — an apparent core theme of his campaign — that Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis is unfit to lead the country, telling reporters yesterday he is trying to work “10 times as hard” to ensure Minnis does not get in office.
Christie suggested Bahamians should be frightened by the prospect of a Minnis-led government.
“...If you as a Bahamian have to look to [the] leadership of Dr. Minnis you ought to be frightened of the potential for him to be elected now, because he has not demonstrated any degree of capacity to govern really, in effect, and it is for me to say that, and to say it as someone obviously who is a protagonist and someone whose job he’s trying to take...whoever wins will be the prime minister for the country.
“And I’m trying to see how I must work 10 times as hard as I ordinarily would work just to prevent him from being there, because I shouldn’t do that to the country.”
Christie was responding to questions from reporters in Andros, a day after Fort Charlotte MP Dr. Andre Rollins said Minnis has not demonstrated he is serious about leading the country, as evidenced by his attendance record in the House of Assembly.
Christie said, “This is not a time for the country now fighting back into, I think, what I would call economic normalcy to take risks [with] people who are untested, untried.
“And I think the most critical point, if one looked at the major party, the FNM, they’re led by someone who has found it difficult to demonstrate a capacity to lead, even a small group of persons in the House of Assembly, and to be able to forge that level of unity to inspire confidence.
“There’s no doubt about that, and so again, we as a country have to decide on whether or not it is obvious, as say it is to someone like myself, that they have really some questions to ask Dr. Minnis.
“The missteps, the mistakes, the insensitivity to his own members that has resulted in a revolt against him, demonstrate that there is a need for him to take a little bit longer to mature politically and mature in decision-making politically, and that is what politics is about, judgment, and being able to exercise judgment that would not frighten people, and that’s where we are.”
Christie and the Progressive Liberal Party have repeatedly questioned Minnis’ judgment.
On Sunday, Minnis made a policy statement on Facebook about Baha Mar that drew rebuke and criticisms in various circles.
“Your Free National Movement government will engage and execute a real sale of Baha Mar to a qualified and respectable purchaser who believes in Bahamians; a purchaser who will utilize only Bahamian labor to complete the resort, and will put Bahamians back to work with real jobs as quickly as possible,” Minnis said.
There were multiple responses from the hierarchy of the PLP.
PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts said, “One would have expected that Dr. Minis would be happy for the Bahamian people and congratulate — not the PLP government — but the Bahamians who are benefitting from this project.
“Instead, Dr. Minnis said that the official FNM policy is to nationalize Baha Mar and sell Baha Mar again to Sarkis Izmirlian, the failed developer.”
The PLP has pointed to Minnis’ positions on various other issues as evidence that he is not capable of effectively leading The Bahamas.
The PLP has accused Minnis of offering only empty rhetoric without any tangible plans.
Christie and the PLP have continued to point to the decision of seven MPs to remove Minnis as leader of the Official Opposition back in December as the clearest example of his inability to inspire confidence and be an impactful leader.
The prime minister’s statement yesterday that Bahamians should be frightened by the possibility of a Minnis administration, signals a strengthening of the language Christie has been using to characterize Minnis in the lead up to the general election.