PM ‘more focused on battling pandemic than early election’

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said he is more focused on saving lives than calling an early election.

His comments came on Friday during the signing of a heads of agreement for the Jack’s Bay development on Eleuthera.

“Our priority is saving Bahamian lives and that’s what we’re concentrating on at this particular [time] — that is more important to us,” Minnis said when asked whether he intended to call an early election.

“Saving lives, after which we want to deal with our economy to ensure that people are working and improve their quality of life.”

Since March, Minnis — in his capacity as competent authority — has imposed sporadic lockdowns and ordered frequent closures of non-essential businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19 in The Bahamas.

The restrictions have forced thousands of Bahamians into unemployment.

The prime minister came under heavy criticism last month after he ordered an immediate one-week total lockdown of New Providence following a spike in cases.

Minnis did not give prior warning of the lockdown, which prohibited essential businesses like gas stations and food stores from opening.

Some residents took to the streets to protest the move while others went out in search of food and water.

The prime minister lifted the lockdown within 24 hours.

On August 19, following the total lockdown, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Fred Mitchell called on Minnis to call a general election, suggesting that the public had lost confidence in Minnis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The last general election was held on May 10, 2017.

The Free National Movement (FNM) unseated the ruling PLP.

Then Prime Minister Perry Christie lost his seat in the House of Assembly after serving as Centreville MP for eight consecutive terms. 

The constitution requires that an election be held every five years.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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