Categorized | Featured, National News

FNM Urging ‘No’ Vote – Too Many Unanswered Questions about Referendum


After much “consideration, very little answers and too much bungled information from the government,” the Opposition has recommended that Bahamians vote ‘No’ on both of the gambling referendum questions.

At first Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis and his party sought to steer clear of making the January 28 gambling referendum political and let Bahamians use their conscience to decide, but on Wednesday at a press conference at the party’s Mackey Street headquarters Dr. Minnis said based on everything that has transpired, the referendum seems fixed, flawed and is a “royal mess.”

He suggested that the government postpone the referendum take it back to the negotiating table.

“Given the tremendous lack of meaningful information, the government’s incompetence and legitimate questions about a corrupted process, the Free National Movement has concluded that it will recommend that the Bahamian people vote ‘No’ on question number,” he said.

“We believe the question appears to be fixed to enable the Christie Government to do whatever it wants if the answer is ‘Yes’.”

Dr. Minnis said there is too much wrong with what the government has proposed in the referendum, all of which he said stems from the “incestuous relationship between the top numbers men and the government.”

That, he added, coupled with the the issue of that first question being misleading, asking Bahamians to regulate and not legalise web shop gaming, provides too much confusion.

“Because the Free National Movement and the Bahamian people have no clear understanding as to how the Christie administration proposes to develop and implement a national lottery and because of our fears that this will be another sweetheart deal for the select few, we will recommend to the Bahamian people that they vote ‘No’ on question number two.”

Dr. Minnis said the Central Council of the FNM voted unanimously to support the party’s recommendation of that ‘No’ vote on both questions.

The FNM leader added that within the context of any national debate one of the most important ingredients is a government that adds light, clarity and focus to the debate.

Those ingredients he said enhance the process and ensure that the nation benefits from having an informed electorate on referendum day.

“In plain language, the Free National Movement does not trust the Progressive Liberal Party Government to establish and regulate a national lottery with clean hands,” he said.

“The prime minister also said that he will not close illegal web shops because they provide jobs, but so does prostitution, so does drugs. So do we invite all drug pushers to come? The Bahamas is now a nation for sale so we can push drugs to the US because they provide jobs? Child pornography, illegal, but it provides jobs. Is the prime minister endorsing that? Duplication of copyright products is illegal but it provides jobs. The knockoffs bags that we sell have sold in the past, the sale of those provide jobs. Robbery, a robber’s job is to rob, that’s his illegal job. So is the prime minister essentially saying that The Bahamas is for sale once you can provide jobs?”

He added that the most important question in this whole issue remains unstudied and unanswered and that is to find out what is the true extent of the social, familial and financial repercussions of gambling.

“The PLP reminds me a lot of Otis Redding’s song, ‘Dreams to remember’”, he said. “We bought the dream about mortgage, we bought the dream about employment, we bought the dream about National Health Insurance but those are only dreams we will always remember.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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