Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis’ attack on the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) during a rally on Tuesday night was nothing but a “sad and painful” distraction from his government’s failures, PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis said yesterday.
Minnis used the ongoing saga over a lawsuit alleging Peter Nygard engaged in illicit acts with underage Bahamian girls and the former Lyford Cay residents’ previous interactions with the PLP to make a case as to why the official opposition should be kept out of office.
“For a prime minister who commands a huge parliamentary majority to advance any policy or piece of legislation he wishes and whose government has borrowed billions of dollars in three short years, it was sad and quite frankly painful to see him struggle as he used one distraction after another to deflect the nation from his failed administration,” Davis said in a statement.
“The issue is not Peter Nygard or the PLP – the issue is this abject failure of this FNM administration led by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.
“On the eve of another general election season that he declared, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has nothing to show for his stewardship except higher taxes on the backs of Bahamians, higher unemployment, mass labor unrest, misery and mass suffering.
“The rich, foreign interests, party donors and friends on the other hand, have enjoyed generous tax breaks and sweetheart deals.”
Davis’ comments were prompted by jabs Minnis made at the PLP during his community meeting/rally off Blue Hill Road.
“I was away for a period last week at CARICOM meetings in Barbados,” Minnis said.
“While away, I was checking the news every day. All I could see in the local and international press was a serious story about a rich foreigner and the PLP.
“This scandal may become one of the lowest moments in the PLP’s history. And let me say that the allegations made in this scandal are shocking and disgusting.
“Young women, including Bahamian women, have come forward to tell extraordinary stories of abuse. In every era, no matter how much they say they’ve changed, the PLP gets into scandals.
“The country is still waiting to hear a clear, detailed statement on this matter from the PLP. Their answers, so far, have been all mixed up and very confusing, but the Bahamian people deserve answers.
“These allegations are too serious for the PLP’s usual spin doctors.”
But Davis argued that Bahamians are not interested in Minnis’ “political posturing”.
“The consensus among Bahamians is that the prime minister has failed them and they cannot wait to see his back and the back of his FNM administration,” Davis claimed.
“The Bahamian people are not fooled Mr. Prime Minister; they have stopped listening to you and for sure this upcoming general election is not about Peter Nygard, but a referendum on you and your failed leadership.
“I urge all Bahamians to remain focused – join us as we continue to fight for you and the soul of this nation – working together to remove this FNM government from power who has lost the moral authority to continue to govern this country.”
The civil suit filed against Nygard recently in New York alleges that he used his considerable influence in the fashion industry, his power through the corruption of officials and a network of company employees under his direction, to groom and entice underage girls and women.
That suit also alleges that Nygard initiated a scheme to purchase police protection and political cover in The Bahamas by making regular payments of tens of thousands of dollars to law enforcement and government officials.
However, PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell last week denied the party’s involvement.
“We have examined the statement in its entirety and it appears to contain a mishmashed concoction of everything and the kitchen sink to make a salacious and biased story against the PLP without any evidential foundation,” he said.