Bethel: PLP hypocrites on Forbes-Smith
Following the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) call for the resignation of Senate President Katherine Forbes-Smith, Attorney General Carl Bethel yesterday called the party’s rationale “baseless”.
“Absolutely baseless grounds advanced by them (the PLP) and in short order, we will be showing the depth of their grotesque hypocrisy,” Bethel said in an interview with The Nassau Guardian.
“They are very hypocritical.
“They forget when they are out of office the things that they did when they were in office.”
Forbes-Smith recently confirmed that she works as a local consultant for Carnival Cruise Line.
She said there “would be no conflicts of interest”.
Last month, it was revealed in a report from a court-appointed monitor that Carnival Corporation cruise ships discharged nearly 500,000 gallons of treated sewage into Bahamian waters in 2017.
The corporation in 2016 pleaded guilty to numerous charges stemming from illegally dumping oily bilge water into the ocean between 2005 and 2013, and its systematic coverup of the illegal actions.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis in February announced that the corporation will be building a new cruise port in Grand Bahama expected to create more than 1,000 direct and indirect permanent jobs.
Several environmentalists have since expressed concerns about the project and its potential impact on the environment.
Following the backlash from environmentalists, Senior Vice President of Global Port and Destination Development for Carnival Corporation Giora Israel said that Carnival is committed to protecting the environment and is fully cooperating with all relevant Bahamian authorities.
In a recent statement, the PLP called for the resignation of Forbes-Smith, insinuating that her working for Carnival is a conflict of interest.
“The law is not the issue or a correct response,” the statement said.
“The issue is whether or not it passes the test of propriety, the proverbial smell test.
“In other words, would an objective observer say that there is no conflict?
“Would a PLP supporter feel assured that in a competition for work on the Carnival site believe that he has a fair chance given the connection between the Senate president, the FNM government and the Senate president who is an FNM politician?
“The matter must be reexamined in that light and the appropriate action taken by the president to correct it.
“She must resign as a senator or give up the consultancy.”
Regarding the call for resignation, Forbes-Smith declined to comment.