FNM REFUSES TO STAND UP FOR BAHAMIANS ON BAHA MAR

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best viagra pharmacy times;”>bradleyrobertsCommentary
click times;”> By
Bradley B Roberts
National Chairman Progressive Liberal Party
16th August 16, 2015

FNM REFUSES TO STAND UP FOR BAHAMIANS ON BAHA MAR

The central issue of the immediate completion and opening of Baha Mar is too important for red herrings to be waved back and forth to distract the Bahamian people from this central issue.

WE MUST AL STAND UP FOR BAHAMIANS ON THIS IMPORTANT NATIONAL ISSUE.

Most Bahamians agree and the PLP stand with them on the following positions:
· If there was a contract in place calling for the developer to finance the completion of the project in the event of cost overruns, the developer should honour the terms and conditions of that contract and seek legal recourse after the project’s completion. This has not happened.
· If the developer owes Bahamian contractors and creditors, including the Bahamas government, over $100 million the developer should pay the debt.
· Filing for bankruptcy in Delaware has the consequence of the developer walking away from all of his debts while maintaining control of the Baha Mar asset. Bahamians do not believe that the developer should walk away from his debts.
· While Bahamians, including all political parties, favour an out of court settlement between the negotiating partners as the quickest resolution to this impasse, they do not believe that the developer’s $175 million portion of the total proposed loan package necessary to complete the project should be guaranteed by the Bahamian tax payers in the form of a “sovereign guarantee.” This request by the developer is a non-starter as the developer should guarantee his own debt.
· Bahamians do not believe that the Bahamian government should use their tax dollars to pay foreign workers of Baha Mar.
· Bahamians believe that its government should do all within its power to cause for the opening of the resort in the public interest because thousands of jobs are at stake; scores of Bahamian contractors and creditors are owed millions; and the rebound of the Bahamian economy are paramount to our country’s national interests. A fully operational Baha Mar is projected to contribute 12.9% of the current GDP to the Bahamian economy; needless to say this is significant. If a provisional liquidator is the legal instrument necessary to facilitate a quick resolution to this matter, then so be it as the government must act in the best interests of its people. The provisional liquidator simply replaces the developer and accepts the deal that the developer refused to accept. This back and forth cannot drag on indefinitely.
· This is a private contract between three investors: Baha Mar, China Construction of America and the China EXIM Bank. The government is merely a facilitator and observer to protect the interest of the country.

The above are the salient points around which all must rally to see this project through to the end in the shortest possible time. The shameless waving of red herrings by the leader of the Free National Movement, Hubert Minnis, to distract the Bahamian people from these salient points and the principle objective of this Baha Mar discussion are unhelpful and fails to put Bahamians first. Minnis is putting the narrow political objectives of the FNM ahead of the national interest. He is not standing up for Bahamians.

WHO IS STANDING UP FOR BAHAMIANS? WHO IS PROTECTING OUR NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY?

Minnis and his FNM colleagues say out of one side of their mouths that they want a quick resolution to this matter, but at every turn they seek to sabotage the process, manufacture distractions and division to sow seeds of discord to advance their decidedly narrow political agenda. This is a betrayal of public trust.

At all material times the Attorney General was appointed by the Prime Minister to observe and to report to the Prime Minister, all negotiations between the private parties with a view to protecting the national interests of The Bahamas. The decision to pay Bahamian workers when the developer refused to and threatened to fire them was one such decision as the government will not allow anybody to dangle those Bahamian workers at Baha Mar as a bargaining chip to rubberstamp a foreign court’s decision. No credible government will acquiesce to such tactics. The Bahamas government made the tough decision while pursuing a negotiated settlement.

The record will show that as per Westminster convention, all business relationships between the Gibson family and Baha Mar were not only revealed to the cabinet, but to the general public.

Actual negotiations on Baha Mar in the form of legal applications in The Bahamas Supreme Court were led by Hon. Damian Gomez who has no interest in Baha Mar.

In the interest of transparency and to preserve the integrity of the legal process, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie went further, removed Mr. Gomez as lead negotiator and legal representative, replacing him with Mr. Simon Peter Knox QC, a legal consultant.

The record is clear that at all times the government has acted in the best interests of the Bahamian people. The FNM cannot make such claims. They are unable to articulate exactly what the conflict of interest is. How is Attorney General Senator Allyson Maynard-Gibson and her family benefitting financially? There is evidence that her husband, Maxwell Gibson, along with other Bahamian contractors and creditors are losing money big time in this Baha Mar deal; that much is obvious.

I publicly thank the Attorney General for standing up for Bahamians even as her family suffers financial losses. I thank other Bahamian contractors and creditors for their patience as they too suffer financial losses and are in limbo during these tough, delicate and potentially volatile negotiations.

So far the FNM has failed to stand up for Bahamians. As usual they hide in the tall grasses, throw stones, make no sacrifice and hope that only they will benefit politically from the Baha Mar saga. How have they stood up for Bahamians? This is shameful and disgraceful.

In the end the FNM must answer to the Bahamian as to why they refused to stand up for the Bahamian people.