Minnis says he’s unfazed by criticisms from FNM MPs

While several Free National Movement (FNM) MPs have criticized Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis’ leadership during the 2021/2022 budget debate, Minnis said he is unfazed by the comments.

“Well, that’s not anything new,” he said when asked to respond to the critics.

“Every prime minister is always targeted. The leaders are always targeted. But I still remain focused.

“My job and my duty is to improve the quality of life for the Bahamian people and to advance The Bahamas as the rest of the world advances.

“I am very focused, especially on COVID, the vaccine and ensuring that as many Bahamians as possible are vaccinated, so that we can recommence our economy and expand and grow our economy and have more young people employed and more young people moving into their own businesses as entrepreneurs and preparing them for the future.”

Seabreeze MP Lanisha Rolle and Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine delivered scathing contributions in the House last week.

Neither of the two has received a nomination from the FNM for the upcoming general election.

While McAlpine has been a frequent critic of the Minnis-led government in recent years, Rolle’s dissatisfaction with the administration has only come to light following her abrupt resignation as minister of youth, sports, and culture in February.

Following her resignation, a Cabinet Office statement said the prime minister was investigating “certain matters” in the ministry.

In her contribution to the budget last week, Rolle said the statement, which was later clarified to say that she was not being investigated, caused her “hurt and harm”.

She also claimed that she was subject to “undemocratic” treatment when she was not ratified by the FNM to run in the next general election.

East Grand Bahama MP and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest was also critical of the government during his budget contribution.

Turnquest resigned from Cabinet last November, after his name was called in a lawsuit in relation to an alleged fraudulent scheme. He informed in February that he was told by Minnis that he will not be getting a nomination. He later claimed he did not want a nomination.

During his contribution last week, Turnquest lamented the state of affairs on Grand Bahama nearly two years after Hurricane Dorian.

He also blasted Minnis’ plans for a residential development for young Bahamians in western New Providence as “discriminatory”. 

When asked about the comments, Minnis defended his decision and claimed he will respond more thoroughly to Turnquest when he wraps up the budget debate on Thursday.

“I will speak on Thursday, but everyone has their views, but I’m focused on ensuring that the young people have all the advantages possible in advancing,” he said.

“And there are too many people who want to move into upscale homes in the western area and eastern area and they can’t afford it. It is cost-prohibitive. So, it is the government’s responsibility to assist wherever possible.”

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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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