Categorized | National News

Foulkes Criticises Mitchell

A former Free National Movement (FNM) senator is criticising a government minister for getting “too personal” about renaming the Paradise Island Bridge after actor, Sir Sidney Poitier.

According to Dion Foulkes, the basic concept of Cabinet government has been severely compromised by Fred Mitchell.

“In defense of the government’s decision to name the Paradise Island Bridge in honour of Sir Sidney Poitier, Fred Mitchell said that “while he served in the Opposition between 2007 and 2012 he promised that he would thank Sir Sidney for his contributions to the country if he were ever returned to office,” Mr. Foulkes said in a press release on Saturday.

“Is the PLP Cabinet a committee of one? If Fred Mitchell is the driving force behind the decision to name the P.I. Bridge in Sir Sydney’s honour he should keep that to himself. Cabinet Ministers are not permitted to personalise Cabinet decisions.”

Mr. Foulkes said the well established and accepted principle of collective responsibility has been compromised by Mr. Mitchell.

“Instead of being driven by Fred Mitchell the PLP Government should have consulted the Bahamian people before making such an important decision,” he said.

The renaming of the Paradise Island Bridge and the National Centre for the Performing Arts is part of the celebrations in the lead up to The Bahamas’ 40th independence anniversary celebrations.

The two landmarks will be renamed after Bahamian Academy Award winner and former Ambassador Sir Sidney Poitier on November 2 and November 3.

On November 3, Academy Award and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson will also perform a special concert in honour of Sir Sidney.

Prime Minister Perry Christie told reporters last week that the government will spare no effort for the celebrations.

“We have invested a lot in a new stadium and continue to do so,” he said at the time.

“It is time for us to also give to those who are artists, actresses, producers and directors – to give their talents the best place to develop.”

Mr. Christie said a lot of people have had some debate over Sir Sidney being honoured.

But he said Sir Sidney is a good choice.

“The fact of the matter is Sir Sidney was not only an incredible story but in his latter years he made significant contributions to diplomacy to The Bahamas as ambassador to UNESCO and Japan. For me, it is quite a pleasure to hold discussions with him and to communicate with him with respect to this matter and invite him to have his friends with him in The Bahamas for that weekend,” he said.

“We are now beginning a process that is intended to unite us and bring focus to what really brings us together and minimise what divides us.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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