The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) yesterday fired back at the Free National Movement (FNM) following scathing criticisms of its performance in office so far. The PLP says the Opposition needs to get over the fact that it lost the 2012 General Election.
On Sunday during a news conference, FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis slammed the PLP for not appointing chairmen for several boards and for admitting that it would not be able to provide Bahamians with National Health Insurance (NHI) if the economy does not recover.
“It is unfortunate that Dr. [Hubert] Minnis has not come to accept the fact that the FNM lost the last general elections and is no longer the government,” the PLP sent in a statement early yesterday.
“His party will fail in their attempt to distract the PLP Government from its overwhelming mandate to restore this weak and stagnant economy and fundamentally make Bahamians safe.
It was the failed policies of the FNM that significantly contributed to the sorry state of this economy and the high rate of crime. The simple fact is that the FNM lied to the Bahamian people about the severity of the local economic crisis and the PLP will not allow them to get away with deflecting from this fact.”
Dr. Minnis blasted the government on Sunday saying that it has failed to deliver on its “most important” promises to Bahamians.
The PLP, however, said that Dr. Minnis needs to focus on gaining control of his party “that is clearly in disarray.”
“He is plain wrong in his statement that the constitution mandates the immediate appointment of the attorney general on the same day as the prime minister,” the PLP statement said.
“Since Dr. Minnis’ position is a constitutional one, we suggest that he reads the constitution to assist him in making more informed interventions instead of embarrassing himself and his party. On the issue of Urban Renewal, the people of The Bahamas gave the PLP a mandate to create Urban Renewal 2.0 in the fight against this insidious scourge of crime. It is the legal right and responsibility of the government to review available manpower resources and allocate the same as it sees fit to ensure the success of its policy objectives.”
The party said it is intolerant of lectures from the FNM which stopped, watered down and politicised Urban Renewal, “rendering it virtually ineffective in the fight against crime.”
“If Dr. Minnis, [FNM Chairman Charles] Maynard and [former Labour Minister Dion] Foulkes believe that they can tell the government how to execute its policies, they are men most confused,” the PLP said.
On Sunday, Dr. Minnis criticised the government for firing 80 Urban Renewal programme workers.
“The PLP promised jobs for Bahamians, but they have chosen to discontinue the employment of 80 hard working Bahamians from the Urban Renewal programme, the same programme they claimed was no longer functioning, a programme they claimed the FNM stopped,” Dr. Minnis said at the FNM news conference.
“Still they were able to identify some 80 persons in that non-existent programme to advise that their employment will not be continued past the end of this month June, 2012. Are these people not Bahamians? Are these not the people the PLP promised to believe in and to invest in?”
Dr. Minnis said the PLP Government needs to be reminded that it is the government of all The Bahamas and of all Bahamians.
“Regarding the appointment of boards and statutory bodies, Dr. Minnis is again reminded that his government was late in appointing boards as it was not until the July 8, 2007 that the FNM saw its way to appoint boards and statutory bodies,” the PLP said.
“Prime Minister Christie was clear when he said that the existing boards expire at the end of June 2012 and the new boards will be in place by July 1 2012. This policy still stands. The PLP is committed to fixing many of the problems facing this country – problems that the failed policies of the FNM either created or made worse. The FNM clearly has no solutions, but are content to sit on the sidelines and engage in grandstanding and political posturing in hopes that the government and by extension the country fails. This is most unseemly for an Opposition that aspires to national governance.”