Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis cannot blame Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic for his administration’s “incompetence” and lack of vision four years into office, according to Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis, who accused Minnis of “blamestorming”.
On Monday, which marked his fourth year in office, Minnis said that his government had lost three years of its term to disasters and crises.
When asked about the prime minister’s statement, Davis replied, “Isn’t that typical of this government? They have been engaged in what I call a governance of blamestorming as opposed to governing in a way of what I call brainstorming to address the issues that face our country and our people — again, the blame game.
“The pandemic [and] the hurricanes are no excuse for their incompetence, their arrogance, insensitivity and lack of vision for this country. Long before Dorian, long before the pandemic, this country was on a downward spiral caused by their own ineptness.”
Davis blamed the downward spiral on choices made by the Minnis administration.
Among those choices was its decision to increase value-added tax from 7.5 percent to 12 percent in 2018, Davis noted.
“All of these missteps by them are what has made worse the situation that we have now,” he said.
“It didn’t have to be this bad but for their continued ineptness, arrogance and just incompetence.”
The Free National Movement, led by Minnis, was elected by a landslide on May 10, 2017, in what was largely seen as a national condemnation of the PLP administration, led by former Prime Minister Perry Christie.
On the campaign trail, Minnis promised accountable and transparent governance, and the legislation to ensure it.
But four years in, a number of those promises remain unfulfilled, including the legislation to create an integrity commission, to implement a term limit for the prime minister, and to introduce fixed election dates, as well as local government reform.
On Monday, when pressed on those issues, Minnis said he still believes them to be important, but his government has been limited by external factors.
“I am still a strong advocate for term limits for prime ministers,” he said.
“I am still a strong advocate that no prime minister should go beyond two terms, 10 years. That is still coming. I am still a strong advocate for fixed [election] dates. That’s still coming, but, as I have said, priorities had to be shifted, because we had three years of destruction.
“We could have totally ignored the destruction and just stick to your program, but if you did that, your country would be a disaster. We could have concentrated only on the catastrophic problems that we faced, but then what happens? Your country stagnates. It doesn’t move.
“We had to run two parallel tracks…to ensure that we deal with the catastrophic problems and ensure that we dealt with the growth, development and expansion of the country. It was impossible to deal with all of what we promised within that one year, but be assured that all will be done.”