Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP Philip Brave Davis last night gave notice to Parliament that at the next sitting of the House of Assembly, he intends to move for a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.
Davis contends that Minnis “knowingly, intentionally and deliberately” misled the House of Assembly when he said that St. Anne’s MP Brent Symonette was “not involved in the discussions, negotiations and/or the decision” concerning the Town Centre Mall lease agreement.
But Minnis last night said he’s not afraid.
“I’m not afraid of Brave Davis nor the PLP,” Minnis told The Nassau Guardian last night.
“Right now, I’m concerned about improving the lives and the state of Abaco and Grand Bahama and Abaco cays, improving their economy and getting it back to where it was, getting people working and again improving their quality of life.
“However, if Brave Davis wants to debate, we do not have an objection. We welcome his resolution and we will give him time in Parliament for that resolution to be debated.”
The government passed a resolution to lease the mall to house the General Post Office on October 24, 2018 from Symonette and his brother.
The matter surrounding the post office was reignited following Symonette’s resignation from Cabinet earlier this year – which he has said is unconnected to the matter – and revelations that Minnis called him directly to discuss the government’s plan to rent the space.
During an interview after his resignation, Symonette revealed that he and the prime minister discussed the terms of the lease when Minnis called him on the matter. He did not say when the call was made, but indicated it came ahead of that resolution.
The revelation about the phone call intensified the controversy with some critics suggesting that the phone call contradicted the prime minister’s statement that Symonette had not been involved in any discussions regarding the Town Centre Mall decision.
“He was not allowed to participate in the discussions or the decision to lease space within the mall for the General Post Office,” Minnis said in the House of Assembly last October.
Davis pointed to the resolution for the lease which read, “And whereas one of the beneficial owners of the said Town Center Mall is a serving Cabinet minister, who did not take part in the discussions leading to the decision to accept the offer to lease portions of the building, which will be made suitable for the operations of the General Post Office at the expense of the landlord; which Minister has nonetheless declared his interest.”
The opposition leader said Minnis violated at least two of the Free National Movement’s seven principles of public life.
“Now be it hereby resolved that this honorable House has no confidence in the member for Killarney to continue to serve as prime minister or in this honorable House,” Davis said.
The House next meets at 10 a.m. on December 11.