Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis during last night’s opening of the Free National Movement’s (FNM) National Convention assured party delegates that he will “emerge as leader” once the convention comes to a close on Friday.
Dr. Minnis gave his opening speech last night at the convention, which not only spoke to victory, but also to unity echoing sentiments made by former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.
“On Friday night, when I emerge as Leader, we must all put aside animosity and do what is best for the people of The Bahamas,” he said.
“Friday must be a time of healing and forgiveness. We must commence our journey of taking back the government and rescuing the people from this nightmare.”
“Our detractors are betting that on Friday we will end up as a fractured party but I stamp my big foot and say, I will not let our detractors get the last word and laugh at our expense.
There will be no fracture; there will be no crack; there will be no split; there will only be a strong and a united Free National Movement party.”
“Instead of fighting one another, our mission is to build a Better Bahamas.”
FNM leader hopeful and MP for Long Island Loretta Butler-Turner launched her leadership bid alongside recently appointed Senator Dr. Duane Sands, however in recent days Mrs. Butler-Turner has expressed disappointment over the way the convention is being handled.
Mrs. Butler-Turner yesterday said that Dr. Minnis was being “undemocratic” during the convention and the planning of the convention was poor.
Dr. Minnis, during his rousing speech, reminded supporters of the FNM that the PLP has lost control of the country.
“Under the leadership of Perry Christie our country is completely out-of-control, it is bouncing from pillow to post like a rudderless ship in hurricane force winds,” he said.
“Today in our Bahamas, we have out-of-control crime, out-of-control unemployment, out of control poverty, out of control national debt, out of control spending, out of control public money disappearing into private pockets, and over 20 out-of-control government ministers each one doing their own thing.”
Dr. Minnis assured FNM supporters, that once convention is done, the party will regain control of the country.
“Come Friday we will emerge from this convention a leaner, meaner fighting machine that will put an end to the out of touch, and out of control Progressive Liberal Party failed government and put them out of business just as we did in 1992, 1997 and 2007,” he said.
“We have a blessed nation to save, and yes it’s worth saving. I will do everything in my power to ensure that this lazy, corrupt, petty, feeble, failed, dishonest, bumbling, selfish, vindictive, incompetent and inept PLP government you see today come 2017 you will see no more. This government is out of control and come election day they are going to be out of business, out of luck, out of time and out the door.
“We must vote them out, we will vote them out.”
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Bradley Roberts, who was apparently watching the widely televised convention, responded to a number of claims made by Dr. Minnis, mostly deflecting them as untrue.
“His empty rhetoric was much like his style of leading his party – lackluster and laughable and an eerie reminder of the poor and sorry state his FNM left this country in just four years ago. Tonight’s pathetic attempt to throw mud at our Government shows just how desperate the Official Opposition has become,” he said in a statement.
Mr. Roberts responded to Dr. Minnis’ claims about “out of control” government ministers” by reminding Dr. Minnis of the recently convicted and former Senator John Bostwick along with former Senator Michael Pintard who was caught on tape allegedly planning a murder for hire plot and the conviction of former FNM candidate and Senator Fred Ramsey on the $300,000 bribery charges in connection with a BEC contract with Alstrom for the supply of generators.
“Dr. Minnis claims that government spending is out of control. In these difficult economic times, this government reduced a budgetary deficit of $500 million left behind by the FNM by more 70 per cent in just four years. Our fiscal consolidation plan to reduce the deficit is working and the numbers prove it,” the PLP chairman said.
Mr. Roberts also said Dr. Minnis claims that the people of The Bahamas cannot find work, but the latest labour statistics prove that over 27,000 jobs were added to the economy in four years.
“Bahamians are working, and there are more jobs to come. This is in stark contrast to the FNM who left the economy in a wheel chair where unemployment doubled in just five years during their watch,” Mr. Roberts said.
The convention continues tonight at Melia Nassau Resort.