FNM and PLP on defensive over weekend gatherings

While police cited 23 people for attending social gatherings over the weekend, the Free National Movement (FNM) and the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) held gatherings on Saturday with large crowds.

In a statement yesterday, police warned Bahamians and residents that hosting social gatherings is prohibited.

The emergency order prohibits social gatherings in a private home or facility on New Providence, except for a wedding.

Police said around 4 p.m. on Saturday, officers saw a number of people board a “party bus”. Officers intercepted the bus, found five people on board, and issued citations.

Later that day, around 8 p.m., police responded to a “large party” at a home on Boatswain Hill and issued 18 citations. 

On Saturday, the PLP held an event at its headquarters where party supporters offered free curbside breakfast. 

But photos from the curbside event showed dozens of people mingling outside the headquarters.

PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis said yesterday that the large gathering outside was never the intention of the event.

Davis said that while the party organized a curbside breakfast giveaway, many people walked up to take advantage of a free meal.

He said the situation demonstrates how many people are in need of assistance.

Leader of the Opposition Philip Brave Davis (left) with supporters during a curbside PLP breakfast event on Saturday. Ahvia J. Campbell

“We didn’t anticipate a gathering,” he said.

“What we did was we had a pickup of breakfast for persons and it attracted people, but we didn’t plan it that way. It just demonstrates that people are hurting, people need help and wherever they can get it, they’ve got to go.

“So, it wasn’t an organized grouping, just people came for help and it speaks to how many persons need help.”

FNM candidates were also out on Saturday canvassing their constituencies.

One photo showed Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and Golden Gates MP Michael Foulkes under a tent with at least 30 people. Minnis and a throng of supporters accompanied Foulkes as he walked through portions of his constituency. 

Bamboo Town MP Renward Wells was also out on Saturday at his constituency office in full party attire. He was seen playing alongside two other musicians as a group of supporters cheered on.

FNM Chairman Carl Culmer said the party did not host any social gatherings.

“It is not a social gathering,” Culmer said.

“They weren’t gathering. They were walking in different groups. In the FNM, all of them were not in one place. They were on different sides of the street walking.”

Culmer added, “I knew all the persons, including the opposition and DNA were on the streets walking.”

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Rachel Scott

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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