PM suggests Dr. Minnis can’t articulate, grasp complex issues
Published: Mar 20, 2017
The perceived inability of Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis to represent Bahamians on the international stage with distinction has emerged as a central theme of Prime Minister Perry Christie’s election campaign message, with Christie saying again yesterday that a prime minister needs to be able to articulate the way he is able to and understand global issues.
Christie and Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald both submitted Minnis is not that man.
“You can’t camouflage a leader who can’t come here and talk in this way,” said Christie at a Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) town hall at University of The Bahamas (UB).
“You can’t hide him. You can’t disguise him, and if you can’t get him to do it then you know what you can’t get, you can’t get ability. You can’t get loyalty to ideas and vision. That’s what it is.
“People have to make a choice. I say that with a complete understanding that any one of them can come and challenge me. Be my guest. No problem. Leadership means being able to stand, and that’s what it’s all about, being able to stand on the basis of truth.”
The event at UB was targeted at explaining to young people why they should choose the PLP.
Christie told them: “We are facing a country where the leaders of our country will go abroad and someone will put a microphone in front of them. They can’t hide. You have to be able to speak with authority on behalf of your country.
“Are they (FNMs) capable when they land in Singapore and CNN says, ‘Mr. Fitzgerald, how do you contrast the economy of Singapore and that of The Bahamas?’ That’s what we have.”
Earlier, Fitzgerald was asked what type of prime minister he thinks Minnis would make.
He responded: “Being prime minister is not an easy position and I am concerned in particular when I really consider two areas. First of all, when I look at a prime minister, it must be somebody who is able to grasp very complicated issues — legal issues, financial issues and political issues.
“It’s not scripted. No one gives you a speech to read. You have to be able to think quickly and think on your feet.
“When you are traveling and you are meeting with prime ministers and presidents from around the world you have to be able to speak clearly, understand the challenges that face The Bahamas, and be able to advocate on our behalf for whatever issues we either want to protect, or whatever we’re trying to garner out of the international community.
“And I think one of the key indicators for me is that it is difficult when a leader has trouble keeping his own party together and when you look at the case where you now see some other members now coming in to the party.
“...One of the basic requirements of any leader is that you have a keen awareness of your surroundings and what’s happening around you, and if you can’t get that part right, you’re not going to be leader much longer.
“And so, as quick as a hot knife can cut through butter you’d be gone. And so, those are some of the concerns. Again, I think at the end of the day, you want a leader who can unite individuals, who can keep them together, focused and heading in one direction, and where the leader brings inspiration to his group, his organization and he’s able to lead them.
“And so, you want unity, you want continuity, you want confidence and you want someone who you know understands and can grasp issues and is able to communicate them very clearly.
“I think if you look at Dr. Minnis, he is lacking in all of those areas.”
At several events in recent times, Christie and his ministers have accused Minnis of being unable to clearly articulate pressing issues, or even grasp them.
On Thursday, the prime minister said he plans to work 10 times as hard to save The Bahamas from the possibility of a Minnis-led government, which he suggested would be determental to the interests of Bahamians.
“...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,” said Christie while in Andros.
The PLP is also seeking to take advantage of the bad publicity Minnis and the FNM suffered — over the last two years in particular — as a result of persistent infighting in that party.
But Minnis and the FNM continue to insist that those tumultuous days have passed, and the Free National Movement is heading into the general election united.