While making his final case for re-election, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis last night claimed that electing the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) to government today would be a threat to The Bahamas’ economy while declaring that returning his administration would allow for an economic boom.
During a rally that was advertised as a drive-in but resembled a pre-pandemic rally with dozens of Free National Movement (FNM) supporters gathered near the stage to listen to Minnis and other FNM candidates, the prime minister said, “If you stay with the FNM, we could have some of the highest growth rates in our economy in decades”.
“I am pleased that a major cruise line has written to indicate that they will be increasing their calls to The Bahamas. The number of cruise vessels calling at the Port of Nassau has now been doubling month after month.
“In June 2021, six vessels called. In July, 25 vessels called. In August, 42 vessels called. Up to Sept. 15, up to 26 vessels called and they expect over 50 vessels will call by the end of the month. In 2019, the Port of Nassau received 1,206 vessels.
“By comparison, there are already requests for 1,340 vessels for next year, 2022. The last time you re-elected an FNM government in the 1990s, an economic boom resulted. Let’s do it again.
“The PLP is a threat to the economic progress that has begun. They would stop many of the projects we started because they want to give the contracts and opportunities to PLPs. Electing them is a threat to our economy.
“You cannot trust Brave Davis and the PLP with your future. Let’s stay on the pathway to economic growth and jobs together. Vote FNM.”
Today’s general election takes place as The Bahamas struggles with its worst surge in COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic last year.
Since September 1, The Bahamas has confirmed 1,335 new COVID-19 cases.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health said Minnis would provide a COVID-19 update on Wednesday.
He was expected to do so at last night’s rally but did not.
However, Minnis did briefly provide an update on the country’s vaccination program.
“Our national COVID-19 vaccination program is going very well,” he said.
“Our aggressive vaccination program and increase in the uptake of the vaccine is working. I want to thank Bahamians and residents who are turning out to receive the vaccine. On August 16, we ramped up our vaccination efforts.
“I am pleased to report that since August 16, we have administered more than 60,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Since we started our vaccination program in mid-March earlier this year, we have administered 177,476 COVID-19 vaccines throughout The Bahamas.
“This includes 24,081 doses administered in Grand Bahama and 20,521 doses in the Family Islands. Vaccination teams are returning to the Family Islands again later this month to continue the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Minnis said his government wants to ensure that every resident of The Bahamas who wants to get vaccinated will have access to the vaccine.
“Because of the vaccines, we are making very good progress in protecting more of our people and saving more lives,” he said.