The prime minister addressed a small crowd attending an FNM Rally last Tuesday.
The gathering was labeled a community meeting notwithstanding that those in attendance wore FNM party colors and waved FNM pom-poms as the prime minister predicted that his party would win all 39 seats in the House of Assembly at the next general election eliminating the opposition and rendering our country a one-party state.
Presumably this “community meeting” will have been paid for from FNM coffers as we have been assured was a similar rally held at Moxey Park in late January at which the prime minister launched his 2022 re-election campaign.
That meeting had also been advertised as a “town meeting”.
As at the January meeting, the format of last Tuesday’s meeting did not lend itself to questions and answers for it was what it was — an FNM rally, even if the FNM was not brave enough to say so.
The prime minister also told the rally that there would be no constituency boundary changes before the next election. He made this announcement aware that by law a new voter’s register must be produced ahead of the next general election unless the government proposes to call an early election using the 2016 register which expires July 14, 2021.
And he made this statement aware that a new voter’s register necessarily informs the work of the Boundaries Commission’s report to Parliament. That report is constitutionally required to be made to Parliament at intervals of not more than five years. The last Boundaries Commission Report was tabled in early 2017.
We wonder whether the prime minister has taken into account the reality of the movement of the population not only during the normal course of five years but that such movement will have been dramatically increased particularly on Abaco and Grand Bahama following Hurricane Dorian.
The prime minister used his megaphone to rebuke the PLP for the derogatory and race-hating remarks made by one of its officials at that party’s recent rally.
“I believe that every child has human dignity because we were all made in the image and likeness of God…” he said.
That similarly offensive and degrading racist remarks were made by an FNM supporter who is an appointed member of the board of a major public corporation appears to have escaped the prime minister.
He never made a similar condemnation of his member’s offensive comments. Yet he condemns the PLP.
Questioned on the subject last July, he told reporters that the matter had been addressed without revealing what action had been taken, but confirming that the offending board member remained in place.
This is highly hypocritical.
The prime minister also told the rally that he had seen numerous reports of the brouhaha surrounding a mega wealthy resident of The Bahamas and his relationship to the PLP in Bahamian and international media reports while he was out of the country attending the recent CARICOM Heads of Government meetings in Barbados.
He called on the PLP to give an account for their behavior in the matter and proffered that the engagement by that party with the Lyford Cay resident was reason enough to keep them from returning to government.
Perhaps the prime minister will also explain the role of FNM party members who engaged with two operatives supposedly employed by the same Lyford Cay millionaire to organize protests and make threats of harm against individuals proving a nuisance to him in connection with his attempts to illegally expand his Lyford Cay property into the sea.
Minnis acknowledged meeting with at least one of these operatives and those men met with another FNM party officer who today sits in Parliament.
The prime minister’s rhetoric reminds us of George Orwell’s satirical short-story “Animal Farm” in which the leaders of the farm, portrayed as pigs, proclaim: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”