Urging voters to move forward with the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), PLP Deputy Leader Chester Cooper yesterday lambasted Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and the Free National Movement (FNM) for empty promises and the poor management of Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cooper said the FNM is “only interested in winning the next election” calling it an elitist party with no regard for the poor.
“They have presented no tangible way forward after that,” he said.
He added, “They say next term they’ll focus on the poor.
“Don’t believe a word they say.
“They only want to stay in power to cater to the special interests that fund their party.
“The FNM is a paid-for tool for the oligarchs and the elite.
“I think it was Maya Angelo who said, ‘When people show you who they are, believe them.’
“You know, at this point, Minnis has shown us who he is. You should believe him.”
Cooper said Minnis’ former FNM colleagues, who led a vote of no confidence in him in 2016, were right.
“He lost the speaker and three other members of his party in the House,” Cooper said.
“He lost four Cabinet ministers.
“Loretta Butler-Turner and the other dissident six told us who he was.
“They said they had no confidence in him. They said he was undisciplined and unfit to lead. They were right.”
Cooper cited the controversial Oban deal, as well as Minnis’ backtracking on a number of issues, including increasing value-added tax (VAT) and the passing of the “spy bill”.
Cooper also noted that Ragged Island is still lacking basic infrastructure four years after Hurricane Irma devastated the island.
“But his greatest failures have been dealing with Hurricane Dorian and the pandemic,” he said.
“How any of them can look at the people of Abaco and Grand Bahama in the eye is beyond me.”
Cooper added, “Two years later and they can’t manage to clear the harbor, or fully restore the power on Abaco or fix the water supply on Grand Bahama.
“And we still have no idea where the Dorian money went because they won’t even bother telling us.”
“And then there was the pandemic.
“They bragged about how they spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the people. Do you know how many people the PLP had to help feed, so they wouldn’t be hungry while this government was playing games? Thousands.
“Hundreds of businesses that closed because of lockdowns when our COVID numbers were lower never reopened.
“Their bad decisions made a bad situation worse.”
Cooper said The Bahamas should put its trust in the PLP, which he promised will lower value-added tax, save small and medium-sized businesses, create a sovereign wealth fund, increase access to renewable energy, establish a cannabis industry, and make COVID testing more accessible, among other initiatives.
“All I want to say is that they do not really care about you,” Cooper said of the FNM.
“They tell us these things were unprecedented but the truth is their handling of them was unprecedented in its lousiness.
“Again, these people don’t care about you.
“The only time they look to the grassroots and to the middle class is to squeeze them for more taxes or trick them to get elected.
“The prime minister will say any and everything to get your vote no matter how low he has to go.”
Cooper added, “We can continue to wander aimlessly under the visionless, inept, scandalized Free National Movement, or we can usher in greater transparency, equality, and prosperity with the PLP.”