Categorized | National News

PM Addresses Black Friday Organizers

Prime Minister Perry Christie has responded to organizers of the Black Friday March by saying though his administration has achieved much in a short period of time, there is still much work to be done.

The march, which is scheduled for today, plans to address a number of social ills in the country.

In a letter released to the media last evening, the nation’s chief said the Christie administration remains resolute in its core goal to improve the quality of life for all citizens.

“While we have achieved a great deal of good for our country in a comparatively short time, I am painfully aware as I believe you must be as well that we have suffered setbacks, many of them, however beyond our control,” Prime Minister Christie said.

“And so, while I recognize the important gains that we have made as a country over the course of successive administrations, I am the first to acknowledge that there is still enormously challenging work that lies ahead. There is much we still have to do as a government and as a people if we are to fulfill the lofty goals we have set for ourselves.”

The prime minister said this is why he commissioned the work on the National Development Plan, which addresses many social ills.

“I am pleased to invite you and representatives of your group to attend a presentation of the preliminary first draft of the plan. I invite your input into this document so that together we can continue to make this a truly collaborative effort transcending partisan and other divisive differences,” he said.

“I believe that we can and must continue to develop our philosophy of governance, emphasizing increased accountability and transparency. At the same time, we must strengthen the institutional framework of governance, emphasizing a deeper involvement of our people in a more participatory democracy, one that allows our people a greater say in the formation of major policies that will guide our economic development and social transformation.”

Prime Minister Christie said the government plans to address the agenda of the current National Development Plan which includes public service reforms; the implementation of a freedom of information act and the need to create a regime for campaign finance reform among other things.

“I am deeply conscious of the need to deepen our democracy. We are actively considering the improvement in local government as a tool for meaningful development throughout the Family Islands. We need better mechanisms to ensure the more efficient management of New Providence as well. This strengthening must also include new ways for civil society to be more involved in governance.”

The Black March also plans to address the issue of crime.

To that, Prime Minister Christie said that crime continues to be a major concern of Bahamians and no one is immune from the effects of crime.

He said the government is addressing the level of crime with the implementation of Urban Renewal and other initiatives in the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

“Our people must feel safe again –on the streets and in their homes. This is the only way to improve the quality of life on a sustainable basis. As a government, we are resolute in our commitment to achieve this goal,” Prime Minister Christie said.

“At the same time, we have invested heavily in providing additional seacraft and equipment for the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to address illegal migration, the protection of our borders and our marine resources.”

The prime minister also made reference to the National Development Plan that addresses economic development.

He invited organizers of the Black March to meet with him.

“I therefore invite you and representative members of your group to a meeting at the Office of the Prime Minister at a mutually convenient time, for what I sincerely hope will be seriously and mutually respectful dialogue aimed at bringing us closer to what is surely our common aim and purpose: to improve the quality of life of all our people and, in so doing, enable our nation to achieve its full promise,” Prime Minister Christie said.

 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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