FNM Torchbearers Responds to Christie's Statements

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Members of the government’s party youth arm responded to statements by former PM and PLP leader Perry Christie. (File photo of a Mass Rally during the May 2 general elections on Clifford Park filled with young persons.)

FULL TEXT OF THE FNM RESPONSE:

Please allow us the opportunity to respond officially to the comments made by former Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Perry Christie in his press conference held at his office on Tuesday March 11, 2008.

We are of the view that the press conference held by PLP leader Perry Christie last week Tuesday was first and foremost another “clear attempt” to mislead the general public on the facts pertaining to the events surrounding the Baha Mar project. Based on comments made at the press conference, we conclude that Mr. Christie apparent believes that the youth of this great nation are not keeping abreast of national events and are still in an era where we only can draw conclusions based on what said to be the “full disclosure” by his former administration (Post May 2002 through May 2007). Mr. Christie would like the youth of our nation to “selectively forget” how his administration is actually the one who did not close the deal pertaining to Baha Mar’s development before the deadline of March 1, 2007. Considering all things being equal, we would like the youth of our nation to consider following facts instead of a myriad of emotionally misleading comments made by Mr. Christie in his press conference. Fact: a minimum of a 36-month span passed under the Christie Administration and they did not conclude the deal between the respective parties. Fact: the Christie Administration purported in May 2005 that they had table in the House of Assembly the “full agreement” between their administration and Baha Mar Development which has been clearly refuted over the last 12 months, namely correspondence between the former government or agents of the government where it was clear the contents of now surfaced letters were not made known to the Bahamian people under what the then administration called the “full agreement”. Torchbearer’s conclusion: Mr. Christie’s statement that Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham “mislead” the country in the Baha Mar matter was as far from the truth as possible and instead he should have been apologizing for his administration’s “clear attempt” to mislead the public in May of 2005 and now again in March 2008. As was expressed by one of our members, the youth of this nation are not prepared to use “snapshots” and “false truths” about matters to draw conclusions hence we stand behind Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham’s administration who has clearly bought “real transparency” to Bahamian governance.

Secondly, taking into consideration the matters just previously addressed, we pose this question on behalf of inquiring Bahamian youth and the community at large; Can you (Mr. Christie) refute reports that “secret agreements” were made between your administration and the Baha Mar developers that were not brought to the Bahamian people and if yes, why?

Thirdly, Mr. Christie tried to insinuate that Prime Minister Ingraham was not acting as a “real Prime Minister” and “sabotaged the deal” by indicating on March 3 in the House of Assembly that he had concerns pertaining to the Baha Mar development. We believe that the Prime Minister was justified in making his comments because it was his duty as an elected member of parliament by the grace of the people to be open as his administration tries to restore transparency to governance and as Mr. Ingraham pointed out he made the statements to also lower public expectation. The FNM Torchbearers further believe this was the correct stance instead of keeping quite on such an important topic in the Bahamas today; we leave the secrecy and opaque governance to other administrations.

Fourthly, Torchbearers feel that Bahamian people should ignore the misleading comments of the former Prime Minister who stated that he felt that the Prime Minister’s actions in Parliament was the critical element in the decision of Harrah’s to leave our country. Instead, we believe youth and the public at large should respect the comments by Harrah’s in their official statement where they exclaimed that they “greatly appreciated the efforts and co-operation of the Bahamian government”. Furthermore, Harrah’s apparently praised Mr. Ingraham’s efforts in contrast to Mr. Christie’s press conference statements.

Finally, if Mr. Christie was “so concerned” about all of the parties he listed at his press conference which include but are not limited to; the contractor and artisans, masons, carpenters, plumbers and laborers in The Bahamas he would of ensured that the original supplemental Heads of Agreement for the Cable Beach project was signed by March 1, 2007. However, as normal instead of taking responsibility for his administration’s inefficiencies he tries to hold the current Prime Minister accountable in 10 months for something his administration did not complete in their agreed upon timeframe.

In short, we applaud the current administration’s actions since May 2007 as they try to restore trust in Bahamian governance. We firmly believe that they will continue to keep the Bahamian public fully updated on all matters of national interest. Moreover, we hope that the official opposition would refrain from constantly misleading the public time and time again. We feel that Bahamian people have elected a government that they can be proud of and role models for our children to follow.

God Bless our Bahamas.