Categorized | Editorials, National News

FNM Slams Christie’s “Bloated” Cabinet

Not only did Prime Minister Perry Christie take four full days to appoint his “bloated” cabinet, he also filled it with many old faces, according to the Free National Movement (FNM).

The party, which was recently booted from office, said Prime Minister Christie appointed a cabinet of 21 ministers and three parliamentary secretaries at a time of high unemployment and reduced government revenues.

Mr. Christie has four more cabinet ministers and one additional parliamentary secretary than the former Ingraham administration had.

“As opposed to being ‘ready on day one’ to commence governing, the new never ready PLP Government took four full days to appoint its bloated cabinet,” the FNM said in a press release.

“The new Christie Cabinet is very reminiscent of his last one.”

Allyson Maynard Gibson is once again attorney general; Fred Mitchell returns as minister of foreign affairs and immigration; Alfred Gray returns to agriculture and marine resources; Shane Gibson returns to labour and national insurance; Glenys Hanna-Martin is once again minister for transport and aviation; Melanie Griffith returns to the Ministry of Social Services and Obie Wilchcombe returns to the ministry of tourism.

“In a particular twist, Prime Minister Christie re-established the Ministry for Financial Services and appointed a minister. This flies in the face of the fact that all legislation responsible for the regulation of financial services in The Bahamas whether it is banks and trust companies, insurance or the security commission fall within the legislative jurisdiction of the minister of finance,” the party said.

“It is also to be noted that a minister of state with responsibility for investments has been appointed in the Office of the Prime Minister. This signals that investments remain in the prime minister’s portfolio and financial regulation in the portfolio of the minister of finance. The new prime minister may wish to clarify the responsibilities of the minister whom he has appointed as minister of financial services.”

The FNM said clearly the boys are back and jobs are being found for each and every one.

“The prime minister made certain to signal to his backbenchers that further cabinet appointments would be made at the mid-term point presumably bringing even additional members into the cabinet,” the Opposition said.

The FNM expressed serious concerns about some of the appointments particularly that of Damian Gomez as minister of state in the Attorney General’s Office.

“The FNM understands that Mr. Gomez’s client and principal financial backer in the recent general elections is wanted in the United States to face allegations related to illegal drug trafficking,” the party claimed.

“Secondly, there is no clear indication of which minister will hold responsibility for oil, and it is noted that Leslie Miller had not yet been assigned a portfolio.”

Mr. Miller is the MP-elect for the Tall Pines constituency.

The FNM has promised to watch these matters closely.

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