Categorized | National News

PM Under Fire For Blasting Baha Mar

Prime Minister Perry Christie has come under heavy fire for “bad mouthing” Baha Mar principals in front of a number of stakeholders involved in the multi-billion dollar Cable Beach resort development.

During the Chinese New Year celebration over the weekend, Mr. Christie shocked attendees when he blamed Baha Mar for the state of relations with his administration.

Baha Mar officials and Chinese Embassy officials, including Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Shan were in attendance.

The prime minister’s comments came just days after Wyndham Nassau Resort – one of Baha Mar’s properties – fired 140 workers without notice.

The prime minister later called on Baha Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian to forge a closer relationship. Mr. Izmirlian was not at the event.

Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash on Tuesday slammed the prime minister for using a non-political festive occasion to “chastise the principals of Baha Mar as if they were his little children.”

Mr. Cash said the prime minister’s comments were “entirely inappropriate” for a person in his position.

“Not only was it the wrong thing to say to the people that are directly responsible for the largest economic project underway in The Bahamas, but it was also in poor taste to use the event of the New Year’s celebration to make those remarks,” he said.

Mr. Cash said the FNM “wholeheartedly” believes in holding foreign investors accountable, but said there is a right way and a wrong way to do things.

“The prime minister’s way was the wrong way. Those remarks should have been made behind closed doors. His way is no way to win friends and influence people,” the outspoken chairman said.

However, this is not the first time a prime minister has gotten in hot water regarding comments about Baha Mar.

In April 2008, Harrah’s Entertainment backed out of a joint venture agreement with Baha Mar after then Prime Minister, Hubert Ingraham expressed doubts that Baha Mar had the $400 million in equity financing that it and its principals, Darkis and Sarkis Izmirlian, had committed to, and whether it would meet the March 2009 deadline for fulfilling its heads of agreement obligations.

Many felt at the time that Mr. Ingraham’s comments triggered Harrah’s decision to pull out.

Mr. Cash said what he finds astounding is that Mr. Christie has “found his voice” to chastise Baha Mar, but “cannot and will not say a thing to the principals of City Market, who have wrongfully failed to pay accrued pensions and other emoluments owed to their former employees. What is wrong with that picture,” he said.

“The prime minister appears to be out of control; his erratic and unpredictable behaviour is cause for serious concern. He must check himself or the already diminishing public confidence in his ability to govern this country in tough times will plummet even further.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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