COMMENTARY BY BAHAMAS SCOOP
RATING THE FNM’s FIRST 100 DAYS IN OFFICE
According to Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis from his campaign rhetoric and the speech from the throne, the signature promise made by the FNM was not to grow the economy, create jobs, protect the environment against the threat of global warming, energy sector reform, protect our borders or make The Bahamas safer with an aggressive anti-crime strategy – the FNM promised to fight and eliminate corruption. With Thursday marking the government’s first 100 days in office, Bahamas Scoop wishes to assess the government’s performance to date on this flagship election promise.
The government has failed on this score. They botched the investigation into a reported theft at BAIC and everything went downhill from there. “Victor’s justice,” “political persecution,” and “witch hunt” are being used to characterize the manner in which the FNM is going about the fight against corruption.
The only people who could be heard talking about this anti-corruption fight were rabid FNM supporters and FNM politicians gloating on social media and in the press about who “gern to jail” and who will be doing the “bank Lane shuffle;” Cabinet Ministers, no less, told the media to stay tuned because there was more to come. The public heard about the establishment of some anti-corruption unit within the police force but nothing else about the structure, the function and the procedural guidelines governing the unit’s work. Who were the virtual complainants? If there were, then what were the complaints and who were the complaints filed with? Who determines the cutoff investigated period for the alleged corrupt act and what is the cutoff point? All of these questions have fallen on deaf ears. According to National Security Minister Marvin Dames, the decision to pre-empt the passage of relevant enabling legislation and the appointment of an independent and specialized body to superintend this process in the interest of fairness was made by the cabinet.
Hmmm. The decision to prosecute only PLP politicians was made by FNM politicians based on what members of their political base told them?? Mr. Dames told the press that they heard complaints of corruption on the campaign trail and the government was acting on these complaints. Were these the virtual complainants?
Well Bahamians also heard a lot of charges made on the campaign trail ostensibly by the same people.
We heard the PLP stole the VAT money. We heard the PLP government sold 500 citizenships to the Chinese. We heard the PLP gave the Chinese 10,000 acres of land in Andros. We heard all kind of unflattering and questionable stuff about former PM Christie and his family. We heard the Christie government conspired with the Chinese on some secret Baha Mar deal. We heard Baha Mar was not opened but it was all a PR stunt by the PLP government to fool Bahamians. We heard the PLP was conspiring to steal the election. We then heard that the overseas election observers had called for the elections to be immediately terminated and rendered null and void because of fraud, prompting a denial from the acting Parliamentary Commissioner. We heard the treasury was broke. We heard that one million dollars went missing from the public treasury. Yes Mr. Dames we heard a lot of things during the course of the election campaign.
Of all those “things” that were said and heard during the campaign, we know two facts for sure. THEY WERE ALL LIES AND THEY ALL CAME FROM THE FNM PR MACHINERY!! Those are the only two facts we know to date. Did the FNM government make anti-corruption policy and acted on the same based purely on fabricated propaganda generated by its own party’s propaganda machinery? This is happening in a democratic country driven by the prevalence of the rule of law? GOD FORBID!
This is why the United Nations is so clear and adamant about how member states should go about establishing executing mechanisms that are both specialized and independent to address issues of corruption. The guidelines were ignored by the FNM government. The entire process was botched and they failed in executing their flagship election promise. Had the FNM told the Bahamian people that they would simply crucify the PLP at the first opportunity, then I would say they succeeded but all Bahamians know that this is not about cleaning up corruption.
And the misrepresentation did not end on the 10th May. How does Minister D’Aguilar explain going to Parliament and telling outright lies on Pat Mortimer and the NAD board? How does DPM Turnquest go to Parliament and intentionally misrepresent the budget deficit? Was it to borrow $722 million, much more than was needed? And for what reason? Nobody could get a straight answer from this Minnis crew on nothing. When their actions are questioned or challenged, FNM Ministers simply throw tantrums as if to suggest, “hey, you can’t question us – we are the big bad FNM – we won the elections so go crawl under a rock.”
Bahamians should not have trusted anything the FNM said in opposition and now Bahamians should know better than to trust anything this FNM says as the government.
Remember the old adage about fooling me once and twice and where the shame lies.
Editor of Bahamas Scoop