Categorized | National News

PLP Wants Yes Vote

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts said Sunday that the party is urging Bahamians to vote yes in the upcoming gaming referendum – a move that makes the upcoming vote a political battlefield.
In his initial communication on the referendum on web shop gaming last year, Prime Minister Perry Christie assured the Bahamian people that his government would remain neutral on the referendum question.
“We will not campaign for or against either side to the question nor will we offer any encouragement for either a yes or no vote. We are going to stay out of the fray and let the Bahamian people decide what they want without any cajouling or coaxing one way or the other,” he said at the time. “In other words, we have no horse in this race.”
But yesterday, while speaking at meeting of the New Providence Branch of the PLP, Mr. Roberts clearly stated where the party stands.
“A yes vote in the upcoming referendum on the January 28, 2013 legitimises this viable and profitable industry and removes the black market stigma the industry carried for decades,” he said.
“A yes vote eliminates the current underground cash economy connected with the industry, protects the Bahamian economy and provides a legitimate platform for expanded economic empowerment and ownership opportunities for many Bahamians. The PLP is now obliged to encourage Bahamians to make this bold and progressive step in the economic interest of the country by voting “yes on referendum day.”
In the statement, Mr. Roberts also took the opportunity to blast Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis indicating that he flipped flopped on his stance about legalising the web shop gaming industry.
“On August 20, 2012 Dr. Minnis was quoted as saying ‘I have nothing against individuals gambling in terms of lottery, buying numbers etc.’ He also indicated that he would vote in favour of legalisation of the numbers industry. He later said the following, ‘I have said on numerous occasions, we do not intend to tell people how to vote. Every Bahamian should be guided by their conscience.’

“And lo and behold by the 16th January 2013 Dr. Minnis had made a 180 degree turn on the issue and said that ‘… the Free National Movement has concluded that it will recommend that the Bahamian people vote no on question number one. With respect to question number two, while the Free National Movement in principle supports the establishment of a wholly state-owned national lottery…’ ‘…we will recommend to the Bahamian people that they vote no on question Number two,’” Mr. Roberts said.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is clearly a man who does not know his own mind and does not believe his own words so why should anybody trust Dr. Minnis. He is clearly double-minded and St. James said that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Dr. Minnis has no credibility as a leader and his word cannot be trusted.”

Mr. Roberts also said that Dr. Minnis and other members of the former Ingraham administration were looking to bring forth a bill called the Computer Wagering Licensing Regulation 2010, “but lacked the courage” to do so.

“The facts are clear that the FNM once supported this bold initiative, but lacked the strength and courage to see it through on behalf of the Bahamian people. They now seek to sow seeds of confusion to cloud the salient issues through lies and muddy the waters to hide their narrow and selfish political interests,” he said.

The chairman added that he believes that the ‘Yes Vote’ will prevail.

“Contrary to the public relations of the No Vote campaign in my humble opinion the majority of Bahamians will cast their votes in favour of the Yes Vote as those who participate in web cafes and lotteries strongly desire to have the long dark clouds removed from their heads,” Mr. Roberts said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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