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PM: Minnis To “Pay Politically”—-FNM: PM Adopting Style Of Petty Dictators

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Prime Minister Perry Christie no longer wants an apology from the opposition leader for being called corrupt.

Instead, he said is going to make Free National Movement (FNM) chief, Dr. Hubert Minnis “pay politically.”

“Dr. Minnis just did something that no one has ever done. I’ve had 40 years in public life. Dr. Minnis purported to call me corrupt. No has ever done it like that before. He knew he was wrong. He was suspended in Parliament for two sittings for it. But I don’t want him to apologise. I’m going to ensure that the price he pays is a political one,” the prime minister said in an interview with reporters on Friday.

Mr. Christie went on to express his disgust with the FNM following its decision to reveal the details of a report that it claims proves Cuban detainees were beaten by defence force officers.

Dr. Minnis revealed the details during a press conference last Wednesday.

However, the prime minister called the move “idiotic.”

“They have had the opportunity to govern. They know that political organisations which manifest themselves into governments do not cause people to be harmed. No government whether it is FNM or PLP have a policy to do that,” he said.

“We are represented by police officers, defence force officers and prison officers. For them to say that Fred Mitchell, Perry Christie or Philip “Brave” Davis committed acts of cruelty or anything that implies that to me is bordering on gross stupidity.”

He continued, “We do not sit as a country to bring about cruel acts on people.”

Mr. Christie said the government has allocated funds for the building of additional buildings at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre.

As for the claims that there is abuse of detainees at the centre, he said investigations are ongoing.

“I don’t know if they know more than me. But I could have said something about this, but I have to wait for the investigation to be completed. It’s being done in part by the defence force and by the police force. The minister of national security can give you a current report on it,” the prime minister said.

“But for me, the chips must fall where the investigation leads us and that is when the investigation is completed…The Opposition could be as reckless and irresponsible as it likes.”

Mr. Christie admitted that the situation had had negative effects for the country.

“The people abroad would see that there is a division in the country where the Opposition has determined that they are not going to wait for the results. They are going to go with whatever information they have and they are going to accuse the government of a cover-up. It arms the people abroad, who do not have access to the facilities, who do not have access to us, who have not asked us to give an explanation to them to draw a conclusion that we are being cruel,” he said.

“The Cuban-American situation is a very difficult one. I have dispatched my ministers of foreign affairs and national security to have a one-on-one with the president of Cuba to have an understanding that the Americans have. When the Americans pick up Cubans they keep them on board the boat, until they can go back to Cuba. When we pick them up, we bring them to the detention centre. We run the risk of being criticised by not giving them the level of comfort that their supporters, friends or relatives would wish them to have and so we are in a no-win situation in The Bahamas.”

According to the prime minister, the Cubans who were repatriated may be called as witnesses if it is determined that abuse took place at the Carmichael Road facility.

“For me, it is an amazing kind of allegation to say that we are covering up something that can cause the country embarrassment,” he said.

“I think the Opposition ought to avail itself with access to the prime minister or the minister with a view of getting information on matters of this kind and thereafter they could make a decision of whether the information is sufficient and if it isn’t they could make a statement on whatever negative extent they would make it to.”

FNM Chairman, Darron Cash fired back in a press statement on the weekend.

“The FNM believes that the lust for power has so impacted the prime minister that he has come to believe that he and his government are above criticism. The prime minister needs to be reminded that he is a servant of the people and not Lord and master. Unfortunately, the prime minister is increasingly adopting the style of petty dictators,” the statement read.

“…The prime minister cannot expect us to believe his claim that three months after the incident, his government is still awaiting a report about the incident that occurred in a government facility where the record of individuals on duty at the material time is easily available – not more than 10 or 12 officers on a shift. Similarly, the number of individuals who would have been involved in treating patients in the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at the material time would be very small.”

According to Mr. Cash, if true, the admitted delay in obtaining the report is “symptomatic of this incompetent Christie-led administration.”

“If not true, the prime minister is continuing an apparent cover-up of the events,” the statement added.

“This is the height of incompetence.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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