Categorized | National News

“Abaco Cabinet Meeting An Abuse Of Power”

Prime Minister Perry Christie’s decision to hold a Cabinet meeting in North Abaco – the staging ground for the upcoming bye-election – is a “wasteful display of political theatre” and an utter waste of time and money, Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash charged yesterday.

Mr. Cash went a step further and said the decision amounts to an “abuse of power.”

This will be the first time the Cabinet has been held outside of New Providence.

PLP candidate, Renardo Curry said the move is expected to have a positive impact on residents, especially those of North Abaco.
“Some of the decisions being made, I’m sure, will be in the best interest of Abaco and will affect Abaco,” Mr. Curry said yesterday during a breakfast meeting on Monday at Jamie’s in Marsh Harbour.
The PLP candidate said he believed the gesture showed the government’s and his party’s support for the people of Abaco and for the future of the country’s third largest economy.
But, the FNM chairman said today’s visit should be seen for what it really is.

“The government’s action is an obscene charade and a naked abuse of power. It is a nothing more than a bye-election ploy designed to pretend that the Christie Government cares for the people of North Abaco when in fact their record in office clearly demonstrates that they do not,” Mr. Cash said.

“North Abaco was not on Perry Christie’s agenda when he was prime minister from 2002 to 2007 and there is no reason to believe that the residents of North Abaco are on his list of priorities now.”

Mr. Cash continued, “His record in government, and most specifically in Centreville, his own constituency, reveals in stark terms Prime Minister Christie’s habit of talking in grand and glowing terms then delivering very little, if anything at all.”

The North Abaco bye-election is slated to be held on October 15.

Mr. Cash said the cost of holding a Cabinet meeting in North Abaco is money that could be better spent.

He said in addition to moving all the ministers in “an already bloated Cabinet” and their aides, the Cabinet secretary, recording secretaries and other aides must also be transported and accommodated.

“Moreover, the government must provide close to 50 vehicles for the contingent of ministers and officials. All of this is being done, while average Bahamians continue to be kicked off the 52-week jobs programme,” he claimed.

Misplaced Priorities

Mr. Cash called today’s visit a “wasteful show” and questioned why the prime minister is visiting North Abaco rather than Grand Bahama.

“The FNM constructed a similarly modern government complex in Freeport and recently
Prime Minister Christie saw fit to give Grand Bahama its own minister in his government. Yet, despite the pressing needs on Grand Bahama Island, the prime minister has not seen fit to hold a cabinet meeting there?” he said.

The outspoken FNM chairman said at the top of the Cabinet agenda should be answering questions of when and how the PLP Government intends to complete the major construction projects that it stopped and telling the public when the airport in Marsh Harbour will be completed.

“When will they continue the repairs to the airport in Treasure Cay? This is the airport for which a $2.7 million contract was signed, works and payments in the amount of $1.0 million made and which was cancelled by the Christie government. When? When will the port for North Abaco return to priority status?” he asked.

“And when will construction of the new bridge for Little Abaco get to the top of Mr. Christie’s agenda after the project was put on hold? Across the island, when will the roadworks be completed and what is the timeframe for further road improvements? What assurances will he give to the people of North Abaco and people throughout The Bahamas, that contracts will be available to all Bahamians and not only the ones believed to be PLPs?”

Mr. Cash also claimed that there are reports that the Christie administration will insist that ministers are chauffeured by government employees from North Abaco.

“Not only is this an enormous distraction for public officials; it is also a brazen act of intimidation and should not be done under any circumstances. The Christie Government’s inability to deliver a clear plan for development of North Abaco and the rest of The Bahamas has given way to spectacular displays of waste and abuse of power. North Abaco should send them a clear message and elect Greg Gomez,” he said.

Rogan Smith

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