Categorized | National News

FNM: PLP Defending Indefensible

A war of words continues between two major political parties over a sitting MP accused of spewing racial slurs.

On Sunday, the Free National Movement (FNM) accused the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) of trying to defend the indefensible.

Just last week, Deputy House Speaker Dion Smith, who is also the PLP’s MP for Nassau Village, was accused of using racial slurs against residents in a condominium where he lives.

According to documents filed in the Supreme Court, Mr. Smith went on a tirade and expressed some “demeaning views on white human beings and foreigners to The Bahamas.”

Mr. Smith has since denied the claims.

FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis, meantime, has called on Mr. Smith to resign from his deputy speaker post.

“The deputy speaker of the House of Assembly has been accused of most egregious and noxious behaviour in documents filed in civil court proceedings. The alleged behaviour, if established as being true, would be most unbecoming of a representative of the people and a holder of public
Office,” the FNM said in a press statement released yesterday.

“Mr. Smith is the MP for Nassau Village and, as such, represents Bahamians of every colour and ethnicity. His alleged words and actions, alleged in court, if true would bring the institution of Parliament into disrepute should he continue to serve as deputy speaker of the honourable House of Assembly.”

The PLP said Dr. Minnis is no position to call on anyone to resign, pointing out that former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham had verbally abused former Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Grant-Bethell.

Mr. Ingraham, during a House sitting, explained why he did not want the veteran prosecutor to fill the then vacant post for director of public prosecutions.

The Opposition said the PLP, in “typical fashion,” has responded with untruthful and vicious personal attacks against Dr. Minnis and other FNMs, most particularly Mr. Ingraham.

“It is untrue to suggest, however backhandedly, that Hubert Ingraham ever verbally abused the former deputy director of public prosecutions. The fact is that Mr. Ingraham, in Parliament, was accused of victimisation by the PLP and, in defending himself from that serious allegation of targeted victimisation, Ingraham merely stated that, as prime minister he had received information which caused him to change his previous support for her candidacy to be promoted to the substantive Office of Director of Public Prosecutions. Mr. Ingraham never said what information he received and never disparaged Mrs. Bethell,” the FNM said.

“In fact, history will show that at every stage of his public life and political career Hubert
Ingraham was a staunch promoter of the advancement of women and a defender of their rights. Bahamians should compare Mr. Ingraham’s commendable restraint to the unbridled personal attack launched against a civil servant by Perry Christie in the House of Assembly, when he was leader of the Opposition. Christie launched an unprovoked attack upon the integrity and professionalism of a senior public servant, making very serious allusions, when he had merely ‘heard’ that the public servant was about to be recommended to fill the substantive post of director in the department in which he worked.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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