Categorized | National News

Izmirlian Double Crossed

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts claimed that former Baha Mar developer Sarkis Izmirlian has been double crossed as he criticized the Minnis administration for an appeared shift in their stance regarding the future of the multibillion dollar resort.

Mr. Roberts criticized the government during his address at the PLP’s Eastern Region Service of Thanksgiving on Friday.

Mr. Roberts said despite it being a central part of their campaign leading up to the May 10 general election, the Free National Movement (FNM) has slowly begrudgingly admitted to their being nothing secretive about the Baha Mar deal.

“No VAT money was stolen.  No 500 citizenships were offered in exchange for Baha Mar investment.  No 10,000 acres of land in Andros were given to the Chinese,” he said.

“The Baha Mar Heads of Agreement was not corrupt as Minnis claimed. No Dr. Minnis will not nationalize Baha Mar and give to Sarkis after all because he finally realizes that the government did not own it in the first place. As a matter of fact, it appears that Minnis has doubled crossed Sarkis and refuses to discuss Baha Mar with the press.

“Carl Bethel, Dr. Minnis, D’Aguilar and the entire FNM government now publicly, though grudgingly admit that the commercial agreement between CTFE and the China EXIM Bank must remain sealed due to ‘market sensitivity’ issues, a fact former Prime Minister Christie told the FNM and the nation over and repeatedly.

“Carl Bethel, Dr. Hubert Minnis and Dionisio D’Aguilar now publicly, though grudgingly, admit that it was the Bahamas Supreme Court that sealed the Baha Mar deal and not Perry G. Christie.”

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis was on the defensive last week over his administration’s apparent change in tone regarding how it intends to handle Baha Mar moving forward.

This has placed the newly elected Minnis administration in the line of criticism because in March Dr. Minnis, then in opposition, pledged to “engage and execute a real sale of Baha Mar to a qualified and respectable purchaser who believes in Bahamians, a purchaser who will utilize only Bahamian labour to complete the resort, and will put Bahamians back to work with real jobs as quickly as possible.

However, since being elected to office, the government has seemed to step away from this position with Attorney General Carl Bethel, QC, last week stating that there was nothing in the newly unsealed Baha Mar documents that prompts renegotiation of the deal.

Asked about the criticism in this regard, Dr Minnis said, “I have been criticized for five years on many things so that’s nothing new. Thank you.”

Before this, he was asked to state the government’s stance on the beleaguered West Bay Street resort and appeared to be annoyed in his response.

“Listen I told you over and over,” he told a reporter. “I don’t know what about the English language you don’t understand. The government, just like the Bahamian people, we want to see Baha Mar functioning to provide jobs and opportunities for Bahamians and we’ll work towards that goal.”

Pressed further for his position on Izmirlian’s plea for a moratorium on the sale process, Dr Minnis said, “I have answered you. I told you our position. We would like to see Baha Mar opened and provide job opportunities for Bahamians.”

He did not respond to a question on whether he was going to review the hotel’s file.

This exchange with reporters followed the morning session of the House of Assembly, which has been adjourned to September 13.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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