A Snap General Elections Likely

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Nassau, Bahamas — The fires of an embattled outgoing FNM regime are quickly descending into melting pot of molted molten magma today, and if what we know is made reality, the country could find itself into a hotly contested general elections before summer. Papa is facing stiff resistance from MPs and Ministers who find it hard to sleep at night because their phones are ringing off the hook with constituents and family members who are totally pissed off to see how these once promising MPs are allowing Papa and Julian Francis shove this anti-Bahamian sale of BTC down the Bahamian People’s throat. Even the pillow talk from their spouses are urging them to vote against this sale.

After scaling the walls of the Churchill Building today, Bahamas Press’ top investigative journalist reports, a snap general election could be called by the nation’s chief following the vote on the sale of BTC to Cable and Wireless. Many see this as a threat to twist the arms of the wayward MPs.

BP can confirm, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham was working the phones overtime Tuesday night in a last ditched effort to save his government from collapse. We can confirm Ingraham aggressively began working the phones late into the night trying to convince MPs and key players of the FNM to the importance of the BTC vote. This act of desperation is being met with fierce resistance from some FNM quarters.

In the PM’s mind a vote against the sale, would be the nightmare of another referendum against his leadership and will conclude a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in the Prime Minister if rejected.

Sources working the phones with the PM tell us, the PM assured MPs and key supporters, that if they break away against the sale, he would no longer have the mandate of a majority, nor would he among his team sway the command of the majority in Parliament; and therefore he would have to go back to the People in a snap election. But many of these same MPs are convinced that Ingraham is washed up, out of touch, and on his way out anyway. They also see the Sale of BTC to Cable and Wireless as a bitter poison that will speed up the end of their political future and prematurely relegate them to the political graveyard heap, just in the same way the people rejected the FNM in 2002 following the Referendum Fiasco.

Going to an Election in 2012 after voting Yes for selling BTC to C&W is a bitter pill that in the minds of these “shaking” MPs is a greater risk that going to a snap election without going against Bahamians on their Political Resume. It will be hard to show their faces in public after demonstrating a lack of national pride in Bahamian First.

The decision to make such a move will confirm articles published by BP months ago, which noted that there is broad disaffection with the FNM, particularly among longtime supporters and MP within the Party over the sale of BTC.

In a desperate attempt to sell the sale to his supporters; Ingraham has planned a rally for Clifford Park; an ambitious feat indeed. We can confirm the Bohengy along with Western Air and other charters out of Andros, Abaco, Eleuthera, Exuma, Long Island, Acklins and Grand Bahama are booked solid for supporters to attend the Clifford Park event. Ingrraham is pulling out all the stops. This is desperation at its best.

The FNM event is planned just days before a nationwide demonstration at the opening of debate on Parliament this coming Monday. An interactive Town meeting on the sale of BTC to Cable and Wireless is planned for tonight [7:30pm] at the British Colonial Hilton. The event planned by Dr. Elwood Donaldson is opposed to the deal.

Meanwhile, incoming Prime Minister, Perry ‘Rockstar’ Christie, has mobilized his PLP machinery into the Nation’s second city for this Friday in a MASS ‘SAVE GRAND BAHAMA’ Rally.

Tolling an election bell in his hand two weeks ago, Christie assured rally goes in Golden Gates last week, all opposition MPs and Senators will vote against the sale of BTC to Cable and Wireless as he assured the public, whenever his government returns to power he will reverse the BTC decision. The PLP will certainly be voting against selling BTC to Foreigners and this will be an easy sell in the homes of Bahamians who have been catching hell for the last 4 years.

25 COMMENTS

  1. I read and listened to the PM saying to his party members that they were elected on pledges in the 2007 Manifesto which mentioned the sale of BTC. as a continuation of its privitization policy.I have always been an advocate for the privitization of BTC but in light of the many indiscretions found with LIME and persons in URCA I advocate for the cancelling of the sale to them.What really pissed me off was the subtle threats against sitting FNM MPs for calling a Gen Election.Yes child of the 60s we shall see who has balls in the FNM.My advice to FNMs is to resist and vote your conscience as Ingrum is pulling another “Night of the long knives” as he was involved with the other while Chairman of the PLP in the period leading into the 1977 Gen Elections.True FNMs standup!!!!Cecilites standup!!!!!!!!!!Patriotic FNM Bahamians standup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. A rally at Clifford Park will not cut the mustard and any FNM MP supporting the sale of BTC should be targeted for defeat in a Gen Elect.I shall be there to see who all show up and will personally ensure that their constituents know of their positions.I want every MP to stand and say what their position is but knowing PAPA he will derail any debate and try for a vote without a debate.I dont want to hear of the company that tried to buy BTC when the PLP was in power as that never happened.For those FNM MPs who have lost their balls they can borrow one from their wives .

  3. The FNM and the Tribune has gone out of its way to dismiss and down play the level discontent surrounding the sale of BTC, the protest on Bay St and the intelligence of Bahamians on this issue as we all knew something didnt add up.

    They are going to have to come up with a new angle as the comments the PM made today is evidence that even his own side isnt as unified as they portray publicly because those MP’s are hearing from their constituents and their constituents dont want to sell.

    There has to be several FNM MP’s in his camp who disagree with him so strongly that Mr Ingraham felt the need to pull out the whip PUBLICLY!

    In light of all the information that has come out concerning URCA, the bad terms of the deal and the conflict of interest with KPMG and Higgs & Johnson, its really baffling as to why ANY FNM MP would want to vote yes on this deal.

    It seems to me that Mr Ingraham has decided that selling 51% of BTC to C&W is worth loosing the government and damaging his legacy over!

  4. High flyer, I agree with much of what is presented in your post; however I think that it is also important to address some of the fundamental questions surrounding the deal and its promotion as proposed by the government. To begin with the process is flawed. The government did not abide by its own rules and regulations with regards to the bid process. Cable & Wireless was a very late entrant to the process. Its entrance came at a time when the process should have been closed (applicants were being vetted and due diligence should only have been extended to approved applicants).

    Secondly, LIME, the company on whose behalf Cable and Wireless is negotiating, is an entity that comprise C&W
    Caribbean markets that came into existence less than a year ago and is yet to produce its first financial statement. LIME outright fails the litmus test as potential strategic partner. One of the prerequisite for a potential strategic partner as underscored by the government is that such qualifying entity must be recognized as “established” and must be respected as an operative in the delivery of cutting edge technology. Many of us regarded this as a clause that is meant to close the door on potentially any local interest.

    The next question is: What exactly is C&W bringing to our market that represents an improvement over what we have? They came here to continue business as usual. Without being able to produce a reasonable business plan! Business as usual in this context refers to the intention of the government to release its strangle hold on BTC now that C&W has arrived, allow the projects in the pipe line to be completed, without the hurdles that BTC now face, C&W will have the freedom to reduce the rate to consumers, make pending infrastructural improvement and present itself as the communications solution that we all once dreamed of.

    There are too many issues, too many inconsistencies and too many unanswered questions!!!

  5. @ high flyer:

    The referendum in 2002 became politicized by the FNM’s decision to hold it so close to an election. Additionally, there was no consultation done to determine which portions of the Constitution should have been amended. When criticizing those that voted against the motions it’s important to understand the context of the vote. Ingraham was clearly using that to advance his cause and people wasn’t for that!

    Secondly, the protest of those against the sale of BTC is disorganized and decentralized as it is coming directly from the people. Everyone has their own reasons for not supporting the sale which was reflected in the diverse responses that they gave to your reporters.

    Thirdly (and finally), I have always maintained that if we had elected officials and a public for that matter, that understood the role of the Shareholder in the Corporate Governance structure then you wouldn’t have inefficiently run corporations. It is equally asinine and insane to believe that any shareholder of a publicly traded company is better equipped to operate that company than its Management team. The most successful value investor (Warren Buffett) doesn’t even get involved in the day-to-day running of the companies in his Berkshire holdings. I personally am in favour of spinning-off BTC’s network into a separate entity that remains government controlled (kinda like Caribbean Crossings & Cable Bahamas) and then implementing STRONG, SHARP AND REAL corporate gov. laws that severely prohibit and punish government officials from direct involvement in all operations of publicly-held corps. For me it’s a matter of will and character.

  6. If in fact that the BTC sale will be the topic at the fnm rally on Saturday, “WHO IS BEING POLITICAL NOW?” I sure hope thaty the SIB section of the popo will be out there with their cameras and little note pads taking names and numbers, so that our smart Minister of National Security can report back to the nation in the House on Monday morning…..oh wait! Pardon me, he only does that after a Mass Demonstration by the Bahamian people. They do not have any “criminals” hanging out at their rallys. Clowns.

  7. The state of affairs in the country is more grave than most people can perceive or believe. The Commonwealth Of The Bahamas has become more or less anti-Bahamians while using the FNM-PLP mind game political swing of distracting the real issues of what really matters. INEQUALITY for any human being is a problem, if it is towards the nationals then history would have to use indian ink for it to be a reminder that though hidden from view it is not impossible to paint a picture of compassion while none is being considered much less given. The manner of IMPUNITY FOR ALL THOSE WHO FAIL TO DO WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN PAID TO DO WHILE IN OFFICE REQUIRES LAWS WHICH DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY. The election where Bahamians cannot get their documents to register much less vote is a poor move as democracy is but a meaningless cue of politics gone wrong. A COUNTRY WITH GREAT POTENTIAL HAVING SO MANY SELFISH INCONSIDERATE PYSCHOPATHS UPFRONT WHAT A PICTURE OF HOPELESSNESS. GOT TO GET IT TOGETHER AND STOP PLAYING GAMES AS LOTS OF PEOPLE WHO CAN MAKE IT WORK ARE MADE TO SUFFER.

  8. The real fact and not some opinion is that Bahamians who show up to dare protest against Papa and his cabinet are no more than criminal association Bahamians. You can’t get more arrogant than for the FNM to state that there is no Bahamian would turn out to protest against them, unless you paid them $85 in cash. If I remember correctly it was Papa and his cabinet who had to haul ass to their chauffeured cars. waiting with the engine’s running, and they ask us to burn less gas? I heard the minister of pretend security almost knocked down the women in his mad rush from the House of Assembly. Who in this cabinet has ever protested for anything to benefit Bahamians, except the handing out of work permits like they were cupcakes?

  9. The real fact and not some opinion is that Bahamians who show up to dare protest against Papa and his cabinet are no more criminal association Bahamians. You can’t get more arrogant than for the FNM to state that there is no Bahamian would turn out to protest against them, unless you paid them $85 in cash. If I remembrance correctly it was Papa and his cabinet had to haul ass to their chauffeured cars waiting with the engine’s running, and they ask us to burn less gas? I heard the minister of pretend security almost knock down the women in his mad rush from the House of Assembly. Who in this cabinet has ever protested for anything to benefit Bahamians, except granting more work permits like they were cupcakes.

  10. The FNM have scheduled a rally (finally) during which the great “Papa” will speak. Papa will finally tell us (Bahamians) why BTC should be sold to C&W. I hope that Papa is not attempting to prevent an exhaustive parliamentary debate by moving the discussion into “rally settings” and clear away from rebuttals and timely challenges to his claims. Papa wouldn’t won’t do that – right.

    It cannot be that Papa only want to preach to the converted and only appear before a friendly audience, not Papa. Papa is not attempting to control all the elements by avoiding the “tough questions” and “exposure” in matters of judgment related to the BTC sale, not Papa. In this way the REAL DEBATE (scheduled to be held in parliament) would be reduced to a short presentation followed by a call for votes because Papa would have “presented” during THE MOCK DEBATES at FNM rallies. Recently some of those embarrassing parliamentry meetings were abruptly cut short so there is room for this plot to be considered (things that make you go hmmmmmmmm).

    Wait a minute! I KNOW I HEARD PAPA SAY HE WOULD NOT DISCUSS THE BTC SALES PROPOSAL OUTSIDE OF PARLIAMENT blah, blah, blah ……. (this is so confusing now because the radio ad promised that Papa would speak on this matter – what’s going on).

    The PLP should reject the notion of a one-sided “discussion” and insist that Papa and “the puppets” show up in parliament and lay it all on the line there. Stop running! It’s time to dance to the music that you wrote. I can’t wait to mark their exam paper in 2012.

  11. @ high flyer

    When was the internal audit which resulted in a recommendation “that 600 positions be made redundant” conducted? Where and when was this published? ONLY FACTS, FACTS, FACTS, please!

    Many posters ACTIVATE THEIR IMAGINATION to sell their views (fed up with it)and therefore mistrust until FACTS ARE PRESENTED should be the new normal (particularly during the silly season).

  12. Bring it on Chico ! Clearly the people are sick & tired of you and the Free National Mess, I’m gonna go out an a limb by saying the PLP wins 30-11

  13. High flyer you make some valid points especially in regard to the politicizing of the BTC issue. IN this post at least terming Perry Christie as a rockstar is not only unhelpful its terribly inaccurate – Christie would be better described as living under a rock as his “taking the high road” stance has proven. In any event, aside from the debate on whether or not we should privatize our telecommunications sector, is the question of why, with so much apparent confusion and disillusionment with the sale of BTC, the government has taken extraordinary (and possibly illegal and unconstitutional) measures to ensure that the telecom company is sold to C&W as quickly as possible. Why is the Ingraham administration ramming unnecessary roadworks down our throat at a time when the social fabric of the nation is unraveling at a rate that totally offends the senses? Does the same tired diatribe about personal responsibility and “the criminal element” account for the rapid conversion of our countries youth to illegal means of subsistence and advancement? The sale of BTC has become the straw which is breaking our backs…we are a peaceful people but how much longer can we withstand the indignity with which we are treated by the government of today? Truly this atmosphere is twisted and indexes the dilapidated relations between the government and the people which hearkens back to the days of the UBP. Ingraham is on his way out…let’s face it the question now is how do we negotiate the coming weeks? The Prime Minister’s tactics evince a determination and disregard for Bahamian human capital that has odious ramifications for our people in the lead up to this election. It will undoubtedly be dirty…likely in a way that we have never seen, and bloodshed is bound to be involved. With the police force securely in the Prime Minister’s pocket I reflect with anxiety on how things will unfold and how the average citizen will protect himself and his family in the time to come. May God protect us.

  14. BP yes if the Government loses the vote Ingraham will do what he has to do, but in your own PLP promotion, Perry the Rock star Mind, you are just full of BULL CRAP.

    Any how keep on dreaming you and your lies and more lies.

  15. Once again rational thinking is nowhere to be found. God help us all. 11years ago there was a referendum to strengthen women in this country and because of politics, many women ran out into the street and voted against it because it became a PLP/FNM issue. Fast forward 10years and plenty of these same women are now crying when they find out that their son, or daughter is all of a sudden “not Bahamian” because his daddy is a foreigner.

    We always end up politicizing things in this country and often to the detriment of good judgement. Progressive governments have done a piss-poor job at educating the people on what they are trying to achieve and instead end up coming across as shoving decisions down peoples throats. The country suffers

    Perry “Rockstar” Christie up until the 9th hr of his term was trying to sell BTC and Papa is doing the same yet neither of them have even tried to let the public know why its better to find BTC a strategic partner than to let them continue as usual. Nowhere was this more evident than on Bay St. during the protests against the sale when if you asked 5 different people why BTC should not be sold – you got 5 different answers.

    Yes BTC is a cash cow and very profitable – but in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. The Government is not selling BTC just for the sake of selling BTC. The BTC sale proposal is more about ensuring BTC’s survival in the not too distant future when 2 more mobile licenses are granted. This is the reason behind both the PLPs and FNMs decision and that is what needs to be put forward not the “lower rate, better service” garbage that has been spewing – lower rates will only come about when competition is allowed (3yrs down the road). Government has no business running a phone company – political appointments, the constant rape of revenue, and lack of vision (or laziness) to demand good performance. etc.

    Many of those at BTC who do not support the sale will be among the 1st to jump ship and apply for a job at a private company should a 2nd or 3rd license be granted (even if it means working for the dreaded C&W). We are worrying that 300 people may lose their jobs, but do we even realize that BTC themselves did a internal audit and recommended 600 positions be made redundant? Can you imagine running a business and hiring 600 more people than you need WHILE HAVING TO COMPETE?

  16. Tired you are offbase. BP is right. Last night Ingraham did threaten his parliamentary group with a an early election beacuse he had concluded that some of them were afraid to support the BTC giveaway. I think that he is bluffing because he is in deep “do do” and he knows it would be hard to win. The message which he is sending to his team is simple: “you all need me to draw salary, so if you do not want an early election do as I say.” He is financially set (the pension alone assures his comfort). Many of his men (with the exception of Symonette, Turnquest & Minnis)need to draw every dime that they can. They are in a catch 22 because if they vote to give BTC to Cable & Wireless they will lose, and if they dont, Papa might just call an election, which (given their performance) they will likely lose. Pindling’s early Cabinets generally had men with balls. So did Ingraham’s first two Cabinets. Ingraham in his unguarded moments has said that this present Cabinet is “the worst in the history of the Bahamas”. When he was reminded that he picked them he responded that “I had to work with what the people give me”. The problem with that statement is that he selected the candidates. That was a condition of his return to the helm of the party. Any way we will have an interesting year.

    • And if it so much an opinion, why you have to post twice? You don’t find that to be the actions of an Ingraham apologist? We report yinner decide…

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