Tuesday 6th August 2019 at Lynden Pindling Centre
STATEMENT BY PLP LEADER
HON. PHILIP BRAVE DAVIS
MONTHLY PRESS CONFERENCE
6TH AUGUST 2019
Thank you all for joining us this morning.
CANDIDATE SELECTION PROCESS 2022 ELECTIONS
There has been some discussion about the PLP’s candidate selection process. First, let me tell you what we believe is really important — we are looking for both expertise and vigor, men and women who can be change agents and shake things up and move this country forward. Men and women with intelligence and ability to grapple with challenges of a 21st century Bahamas. On too many fronts, The Bahamas is stuck. We need energy and innovation, and we need people ready to start moving on day one. Second, there is a very fair, very transparent system in place for interviewing and selecting candidates, one that gives people who live in a constituency more say. This is one of the reforms we adopted at our most recent convention. Third, we have been really delighted with the amount of interest that has been shown — there are so many really excellent, accomplished people who want to become candidates. The future is very bright.
Fourth, everyone who wants to be a candidate will go through these steps. I understand not everyone is happy about that. We’ve heard some noise about it, and my guess is you’re going to continue to hear noise. That’s OK with me. There was an old way of doing things; now there’s a new way.
Vote of NO CONFIDENCE in the PM
If the members of this FNM Cabinet would take a moment to climb out of their government cars and talk to the people, they would find that the Prime Minister has lost the confidence of Bahamians.
Their propaganda line “It’s the People’s Time” has become a bitter pill to swallow and a kind of cruel joke in this country.
The Prime Minister and his sycophants are boasting that he will survive a no confidence vote.
They are missing the point.
The point is to demonstrate to the Bahamian people which members of the FNM will spit in the face of the public and vote to approve corruption and lies.
The point is to show which FNM politicians are indifferent to widespread public disgust.
The point is to show that the contagion of moral cowardice has spread throughout their party.
The point is to see whether anyone in the FNM is prepared to put country, not party, first. If there are few or no takers for that proposition, we will have performed a public service in showing that to be the case.
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has presided over the awarding of government contracts worth tens of millions to companies in which Brent Symonette or members of his family have significant financial interests.
They have failed in virtually all instances to follow the rules that govern disclosure of conflicts of interests.
Regarding the lease for the Town Centre Mall, a government contract worth millions annually to a company owned by Mr. Symonette and his brother, the Prime Minister lied to the House of Assembly, maintaining that no conversations with Mr. Symonette had taken place regarding the lease.
Mr. Symonette himself has admitted that that they did indeed discuss the lease in an early morning conversation.
The House Resolution meant to absolve Mr. Symonette of any wrongdoing contradicted Mr. Symonette’s account of the process, effectively creating a constitutional crisis for the government.
Let then FNMs vote and admit by supporting this corruption and it is not the PEOPLE’s time
Inaction by the PM on Bennet Minnis.
Contrary to what the government has said to the media on this matter, it remains unresolved. Mr. Bennet cannot publicly apologize anymore with any credibility because he told the Tribune that he stands by the tone, tenor and content of his public tirade.
As a statutory board member and a public official engaged in a nasty and gutter brand of political activism, the government must demonstrate by its actions whether the conduct of Bennet Minnis represents the tenets and political culture of the FNM.
By his inaction, the Prime Minister, his party and his government appear to be in full agreement with the public tirade of Bennet Minnis as they sweep this latest public embarrassment under the carpet in Hope that this issue will just blow over and go away.
For sure it is not the People’s Time when our Prime Minister is tolerating hate speech and condoning a racist attack.
Structural failure at Town Center Mall
After creating a redundant crisis in the public postal service and a delay of two years so that the pockets of a cabinet minister could be lined with public funds, the post office is back in the news.
This latest embarrassing debacle at the Post Office recalls the shameful act of self-dealing and conflict of interest which brought this public post office to the Town Centre Mall in the first place.
This is the wrong location and when coupled with the pending breach of contract law suit, this episode amounts to a wanton waste of public funds.
Apparently that early morning call between the owner Brent Symonette, then a Cabinet Minister and the Prime Minister and the subsequent dishonest House Resolution led to shoddy workmanship, negligence and short cuts which caused the incident.
Moreover, the incompetence of the FNM government has not only created an unsafe workplace, compromsing the health, safety and wellbeing of scores of workers, but the controversial House resolution is likely to create a constitutional crisis, subject to a credible legal challenge.
Update on BPL load shedding
With public outcry, criticism and complaints against the Bahamas Power and Light intensifying in the wake of daily load shedding and power outages, the government must say with certainty when the load shedding will end as consumer confidence is at an all time low and business losses continue to mount.
This latest episode involving BPL is symptomatic of the incompetence of this government in the handling of any number of policy issues including immigration, VAT hike, Oban, the collapse of BTC, the government’s labour and employment policies, its contract administration and the transfer of the post office to the Town Center Mall.
They have managed to create one crisis after another or exacerbate routine management issues into crises through glaring incompetence, arrogance, ignorance or indifference.
The Peoples’ confidence is at an all time low and the government’s arrogance is at all time high.
When will it be the Peoples’ Time?
The collapse of and attack on BTC employees by its CEO
The CEO of BTC ought to be ashamed of himself for his disrespectful and gratuitous attack on the employees of BTC.
It was the decision of the foreign management team to extract annual profits from BTC and repatriate the same out of the country with minimal to no developmental plan or commitment to BTC or the local telecommunications market for its continued growth and development.
Management decided to transfer key services from The Bahamas to other regional jurisdictions to the detriment of its Bahamian workforce.
The unreliable state of local telecommunications, its platform and the poor service delivery by BTC is a direct result of poor management and leadership at BTC.
Instead of attacking and assigning blame to BTC employees for the company’s unacceptable state and low employee morale, the CEO and executives of the parent company need only look into the mirror for the source of what ails BTC.
The PLP contends yet again that the sale of BTC to CWC by the FNM government was a bad deal and a poor policy decision that the PLP vehemently opposed.
The FNM sowed to the wind and the Bahamian people are now regrettably reaping the whirlwind.
Sent from my iPhone