Categorized | National News

FNM Threatens Lawsuit – PLP Chairman Welcomes Judicial Involvement

The Free National Movement (FNM) is threatening to initiate a class action lawsuit on behalf of workers who claim they have been victimised by the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Government.

Party leader Dr. Hubert Minnis, who held a news conference on Wednesday at the House of Assembly, cited the termination of outspoken FNM supporter Ivoine Ingraham’s contract at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) as the latest incident of politically motivated discrimination.

Dr. Minnis, flanked by his FNM parliamentary team minus North Abaco MP Hubert Ingraham, said the party had arranged for a team of lawyers to review every case and to take measures to “protect” the Bahamian people from “further acts of political victimisation.”

The FNM’s legal team – Dr. Minnis would not name the lawyers who make up the team – has also been tasked with obtaining appropriate compensation and redress “for all persons who have been unconstitutionally deprived of legitimate expectations of continued employment or contractual opportunity.”

“We invite every Bahamian who has been unlawfully terminated from contractual employment or whose contractual engagement to provide services has been unjustly terminated to bring all necessary documentary evidence to the FNM headquarters on Mackey Street, where the same might be evaluated for inclusion in a proposed representative legal action – commonly called a “class action lawsuit” – which will be commenced against the government so as to prevent the continued political victimisation of hardworking ordinary Bahamians.”

Dr. Minnis said the “en masse” termination of contracts and the “grotesque” discriminations –though he could give no specific number of contracts terminated as yet – abridged the constitutional rights to free association and freedom from political discrimination of FNMs, many of whom, he said, are afraid of the PLP.

His comments invoked memories of the rampant claims of victimisation of the 1970s and 1980s.

“We want to ensure,” he said, “that the Bahamas is for Bahamians. It’s not a PLP Bahamas. It’s not an FNM Bahamas. We want to ensure that going forward, all Bahamians have a right to vote for the party they choose, but at the same time they have the right to enjoy the fruit of the land.”

PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts, responding on Wednesday evening to the FNM’s accusations of mass victimisation, said it would be “very interesting to get a response form the courts as to whether there is any substance to the groundless accusations being leveled by the FNM.”

“A contract is a contract,” Mr. Roberts said. “There are definitive terms in a contract. I would welcome the court to make a decision as to whether there is any substance in it.”

“I would welcome it.”

The FNM leader admitted that the FNM Government may well have been involved in political victimisation of its own, but argued that the scope of victimisation carried out by the Christie PLP is far, far greater.

“Their motto,” he said, “was ‘Bahamians first!’ What they didn’t say was ‘PLP Bahamians first!’ It should be all Bahamians.”

Asked to judge the chances that the action would go forward, Dr. Minnis said, “The constitution provides for it. We will just follow the constitution and do as best we can.”

The lawsuit, he said, is being motivated by the PLP’s relentless assault on the civil rights of Bahamians.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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