Categorized | National News

FNM Leader Supports Referendum But Demands Cost

The Free National Movement (FNM) supports the government’s first round of constitutional reforms, but the Opposition is demanding the Christie administration come clean about the cost of the previous referendum.

Dr. Hubert Minnis yesterday joined his deputy Loretta Butler-Turner in demanding that the government reveal the details of how much was spent on the January 28 referendum.

At the time, Prime Minister Perry Christie said while he was uncertain of the exact figure, he estimated the cost was somewhere around $1 million.

However, National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage recently suggested the figure was nearer to $5 million.

“There is a complete disconnect,” Dr. Minnis said.

“The prime minister is obviously displaying that he does not have his finger on the pulse. Either he is deceiving the Bahamian public or he does not know. When a minister of finance does not know what is going on in his portfolio that is very dangerous for the country. What that means is that the other ministries can be spending more than what was budgeted to them or spending their monies very early because the minister with responsibility for finance does not know – he does not have his hands on the pulse.”

The FNM leader agreed with his deputy, who first called on the government to clear up the details regarding the cost of the January referendum, but added that he welcomes the upcoming constitutional referendum and pledged his party’s support in ensuring voters are educated about the issues.

“As the Opposition, we will be pushing to ensure that the people are educated properly, that they know exactly what they are voting for and we certainly support equal rights for women – we support equal rights for women,” he said.

“We support equality and therefore, we will push and ensure that it is done so the people understand what they are voting for and they can be the judge.”

Prime Minister Christie announced in the House of Assembly last Wednesday that the referendum on the first round of constitutional reforms will take place in mid 2014.

The referendum was originally expected to take place this November.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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