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A fool’s errand

A vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis would be a “waste of time”, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said yesterday.

On Friday, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis said the party’s parliamentary caucus intends to move a vote of no confidence in Minnis as a result of the government’s handling of a lease to rent space in Town Centre Mall for the General Post Office.

However, Turnquest told The Nassau Guardian, “It’s a total waste of time. You know, we are elected to serve the Bahamian people, to debate the issues that are important to them.”

He added, “It would be a much better use of his time if he were to look toward presenting proposals to the Bahamian people that are actually practical, that are going to advance the agenda of the country rather than to take people on fool’s errands.”

Turnquest called Davis’ announcement “political theater”, noting that a vote of no confidence would be “a waste of taxpayers’ time and money”.

The House of Assembly has been adjourned to October 2.

“I guess they’re using the break as a cover so they don’t have to come back and actually do it or maybe they’re following behind the [Democratic National Alliance] who made the suggestion,” Turnquest said.

“Again, we all know it’s a fool’s errand. Why do it? But it’s a free country so they can do whatever they feel.”

Turnquest said the Minnis administration is not worried about such a vote.

“I think the people of The Bahamas voted on that on May 10, 2017,” he said.

“They will have another opportunity to make an assessment in 2022 and you will see what their assessing judgment is.”

Turnquest added, “The Bahamian people elected us for five years to work and that’s what we’re focused on: developing the economy, developing this country socially, ensuring that we provide for those who are most vulnerable and advancing the agenda of The Bahamas toward total economic independence.”

The House of Assembly passed a resolution last October approving the government leasing space at the mall in New Providence for the post office.

It was a controversial move as Brent Symonette, who was at the time a Cabinet minister, is a part owner of the mall.

The controversy was reignited following Symonette’s resignation from Cabinet at the end of June — which he has said is not connected to the issue.

After he resigned, Symonette revealed that the prime minister called him to inform him about the post office decision and they discussed the terms of the lease.

Many saw it as evidence that Parliament had been misled into believing that Symonette had had no discussions with his colleagues about the lease.

Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine was one of four MPs to vote against the resolution.

However, he said yesterday he was unsure whether he would support a vote of no confidence in the prime minister.

“The opposition is in their right to call for a vote of no confidence,” McAlpine said.

“That is their prerogative. As it relates to me, in terms of the vote, I have always been concerned when you move a vote of no confidence. Who are you going to replace the prime minister with?”

Asked if he supported the opposition’s decision to move forward with the vote, McAlpine said, “I cannot support at this time the opposition in terms of a vote of no confidence. I can’t say yes and I can’t say no. I am more likely to abstain in such a vote.”

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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