The prime minister may have had a “laugh-out-loud” moment last week when he heard Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis say he doesn’t support corruption, but Davis doesn’t see anything funny about it.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis took aim at Davis while he addressed supporters at an all-island Free National Movement (FNM) event on Grand Bahama on Friday.
Minnis said he thought he was “being tickled” when he heard Davis’ comments.
“Is he serious? Does this mean that he is no longer a PLP? I honestly didn’t know that he was ready to leave the PLP, because they are the very definition of corruption,” Minnis said.
Davis shot back in a statement yesterday, “This is no joking matter. The prime minister has not seen a smile on my face.”
Davis has been repeatedly calling for the resignation of two Cabinet ministers after a magistrate questioned their conduct in her ruling to acquit former PLP Senator Frank Smith on corruption charges.
Davis has called for National Security Minister Marvin Dames and Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands to resign in light of Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt’s ruling.
The subsequent arrest and arraignment of former Urban Renewal Deputy Director Michelle Reckley two weeks ago, has sparked a PLP boycott of Parliament.
Davis renewed those resignation calls on Sunday.
“His ministers, Sands and Dames, stand judicially condemned for their conduct in the case COP vs. Frank Smith,” Davis said.
“While the matter is being appealed, the appeal will not change the findings of fact in the decision down below. The administration of justice stands condemned by these findings. The attorney general, too, must consider his tenure in the position.
“The prime minister travelled to Grand Bahama and tried to make a joke of this matter. I am not joking and I am not playing.
“… He sought to deflect from his failures by making me and the PLP the centerpiece of his speech. This is regrettable, a huge let-down and a convoluted and shameless confession of failure in leadership.”
Minnis also went after PLP Deputy Leader Chester Cooper on Friday, noting that he felt sorry for him.
“Chester was supposed to run for the FNM,” Minnis said jokingly.
“He was our candidate in Exuma, then two weeks later I was lying down watching TV and on the news I saw Chester walking up with the crab. I say, ‘Oh my God, what happened?’”
Cooper, however, also didn’t see the humor in Minnis’ comments.
In a statement just hours after Minnis spoke, Cooper said, “It is astounding that, with unemployment on the rise, Bahamians being ever more squeezed by his crushing tax hikes, and having delivered us yet another blacklisting, the prime minister has time to spin the delusional tales he did on Grand Bahama last night.
“I previously addressed in Parliament, and the prime minister conceded, that I did not apply to run for the FNM on Exuma.
“Last I checked, though, I won the Exuma seat for the PLP, so perhaps the prime minister’s preoccupation with me is just wishful thinking.”
Cooper chided that the prime minister should “grow up and get to work”, adding that Minnis has yet to demonstrate any sort of competence at his job.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications