Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis slammed Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis’ national address as “a study in depression and hopelessness”.
Davis said the government must “do a lot more to unite the country than telling us how to celebrate Mother’s Day”.
“The PM’s address was a study in depression and hopelessness,” he said in a recent statement.
“The prime minister just doesn’t get it. He is clueless as to the fate of his people and out of touch with the harsh reality that he has imposed on our people’s lives.
“What he has said does not alleviate the anxiety being experienced in our communities, which is likely to threaten peace and good order.”
In a national address on Sunday, Minnis said The Bahamas is in a time of “heartbreak and hardship” but that the government “will not sugarcoat the severity of the circumstances in which we find ourselves”.
As the country has been in a state of national emergency since mid-March due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and many businesses remain closed under emergency orders implemented in an attempt to curb the virus’ spread, Minnis said unemployment is expected to hit 30 percent in the near-term.
While some restrictions began to be eased last week, with a few businesses being allowed to operate for delivery or curbside service only, Minnis noted that gaming houses are not to be included among the exempted list.
He also clarified that church services remain prohibited, amid calls for them to be allowed to resume; but that discussions with the Bahamas Christian Council remain ongoing.
Davis took aim at these points in his statement, saying, “The opening of businesses when announced last week did not exclude gaming.
“The government has now had a week of experience of the 3,500 people at work in that sector, so what has happened since last week which now leads the government to target these workers and send them to the unemployment line?
“Where is your heart? Is there some medical advice to the government which has not been disclosed to us?
“Then, to add insult to injury, people are not allowed to return to their places of worship. Where is his soul?”
He added, “We heard nothing for the vendors at Arawak Cay, Potter’s Cay and the Montagu Ramp.
“This is week seven for them without income and no end in sight. Where is his compassion?”
Referencing Minnis’ statement that the public will hear from him via outlets such as national addresses, in Parliament, or press briefings, Davis continued, “He has also confirmed that he will be keeping himself beyond the reach of the press.
“None of this is acceptable.”
The national state of emergency is in place until May 30, but Minnis warned that “uncomfortable and painful” measures are to come.