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Cooper sworn in as DPM and minister of tourism, investments and aviation

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Deputy Leader Chester Cooper was sworn in as the deputy prime minister of The Bahamas and minister of tourism, investments and aviation by Governor General Sir Cornelius A. Smith during a ceremony at Baha Mar today.

In his first speech as deputy prime minister, Cooper said he is humbled by the appointment and pledged to commit himself to service.

“I assure you I have no delusions about the enormity of the task before us and what it entails,” Cooper said.

“We are beset by a raging pandemic that must be brought under control.

“We are in perilous waters as our economy is depressed and we have major financial commitments to fulfill. We confront that without a clear understanding yet of the true state of our government finances.

“Businesses are on life support and Bahamians from all walks of life are crying out for change and hope.

“We still have a deep level of inequality that has left too many in need.

“Government relations with many in our business and investment community have frayed.

“There is a sense of fear about the way forward and we need to guide our country with steady hands.

“So, in my role, I will be resolutely focused on creating an investment friendly environment, attracting and mobilizing both domestic and foreign investments, growing our industries and our economy to create jobs and opportunities for our people.

“We have to work to make sure that people do not go to bed hungry, that people are safe within their communities and that the wealth of The Bahamas becomes more common.

“There is no shortage of work to do.”

Cooper noted that the PLP was swept into office with a large majority, having won more than 30 of 39 seats.

He said the Davis administration will learn from the examples of the Minnis administration, which had a greater majority, but was still rejected by the Bahamian people.

“We must be gracious in victory,” he said.

“We must not become distracted by the trappings in office. We must not seek to punish those who did not support us.

“We must commit ourselves to service. We are here to serve our people. They are not here to serve us.

“…We must listen to the will of the people and adjust our agenda accordingly.”

Cooper ended by thanking the prime minister for the honor.

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis received his instruments of appointment this morning. He was sworn in as prime minister during a private ceremony yesterday.

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Krystel Brown

Krystel covers breaking news for The Nassau Guardian. Krystel also manages The Guardian’s social media pages. She joined The Nassau Guardian in 2007 as a staff reporter, covering national news. She was promoted to online editor in May 2017. Education: Benedict College, BA in Mass Communications

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