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Sands: Government has lost significant ground since 2017

Elizabeth MP Dr. Duane Sands said he believes that the government has lost significant ground since its election victory in May 2017.

Sands, who appeared as a guest on the talk show “On the Record” on Our TV with host Jerome Sawyer, was asked whether the Free National Movement (FNM) stood a chance of reelection in 2022.

“I don’t know that it’s under threat,” he said.

“What I will say is, is that we have lost significant ground since 35-4 on May 10, 2017, and anybody who refuses to accept that is smoking something really special.”

Sands resigned as minister of health last month after The Nassau Guardian reported that permanent residents — later revealed to be six people — were allowed to enter The Bahamas and isolate at home while the borders remained closed to Bahamian citizens to stem the spread of COVID-19.

A day before Sands’ resignation, the prime minister noted that protocol had been “breached” when the decision to allow the permanent residents to disembark was made.

Those permanent residents were not tested for COVID-19 ahead of their arrival.

Since then, Sands said other political parties reached out to him.

 “There have been people who have reached out, and I imagine that there will be other invitations,” he said.

“My response is, ‘No, thank you.’

“At the end of the day, I was elected on a Free National Movement ticket.”

Sands added, “I’ve said that I will keep all of my options open. At this point I am certainly very much aligned with my party.

“I imagine that there are some in my party who are not happy whenever anybody says anything with a dissenting voice.

“It creates and stirs up passion. That said, this party was born of dissent and certainly it is a throwback to the roots of the party. What happens now will depend on the response of the organization, my colleagues, et cetera.”

Sands has come under fire in some quarters recently after suggesting in the House of Assembly that a list of names of those who went missing during Hurricane Dorian was mishandled.

He has called for coroner’s inquests into the matter, and has called for the government to apologize. But some have questioned why he has brought this matter to light now.

On Thursday, he acknowledged that some of his party members “are absolutely not happy” with his recent statement “and they’re not shy about expressing it”.

He also said, however, that some FNM members had wished for a reconciliation between him and Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis when they requested that the two meet on May 5 regarding Sands’ resignation letter.

The pair did meet, Sands said, but Minnis accepted his resignation that day and became acting minister of health.

When asked if he could envision a scenario where he and Minnis could “put aside differences” and he could again rejoin Cabinet, Sands said: “Yes, all of the options are there.

“I’ll put it this way: What we’re about to go through as a country is going to require that we all put down whatever arms we have and work together, because we are going to go through the valley of the shadow of death.

“That’s not wishing anything bad on my country, that’s an acknowledgement that every single country that’s in the G20 is in recession.

“…And so, the triviality that would say that it’s okay to hold a grudge, we can’t afford it. And so we need to be able to work together for the people of this country to achieve the best possible outcome.”

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