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Cooper: Minnis must resign

The Minnis administration is “a government of neglect and waste” Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Deputy Leader Chester Cooper said last night.

Cooper lamented the money spent by the government on Queen’s Counsel (QC) attorneys in the prosecution of former PLP politicians Shane Gibson and Frank Smith.

“What we see from this administration is a group preoccupied with persecuting PLPs, just like they persecute the Bahamian people,” said Cooper.

“What we see from Hubert Minnis and the FNM (Free National Movement) is a government of neglect and waste.

“They wasted three years trying to dig up dirt on the PLP and blame all their failings on the last administration. They wasted what is estimated to be millions of dollars, and a whole lot of the Bahamian people’s time, trying to make these charges against members of the former administration stick.

“And they got nothing. A big fat zero for our trouble and all our hard-earned money, just egg on their face.”

Cooper made the remarks at a PLP event in celebration of Gibson’s acquittal last week.

Gibson’s arrest and charge on August 2, 2017 came months after the PLP was swept out of office amid claims of corruption in May 2017.

Gibson faced 15 counts of bribery in respect to $280,000 that he allegedly received from contractor Jonathan Ash in exchange for approving payments totaling $1 million for work done following the cleanup efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

His acquittal marks the second time a member of the former Perry Christie-led administration has been tried and acquitted over allegations of corrupt behavior.

Former PLP Senator Smith was exonerated of a bribery charge this February.

Cooper last night called for Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to resign over the matters.

“Now there must be consequences,” said Cooper.

“I hear people talk about the AG (attorney general) and the DPP (director of public prosecutions) and ASP (assistant superintendent of police) and the CM.

“But they seem to forget the PM (prime minister).

“Remember all them rallies Minnis had talking about people going to jail? Remember how the last commissioner of the police said he had no complaints to put charges? Then he went quiet.

“Remember when Carl Bethel, the AG, said he saw nothing criminal, then he went quiet too?

“Well wait, who had the power to overrule them? Who had the power to provide the budget to hire those three QCs from London?

“I told you all before when he misled Parliament that he must resign.

“I renew that call today. Minnis must resign.”

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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