Nassau, The Bahamas – Addressing the enthusiastic audience at last night’s Speakers and Issues Forum, former Prime Minister and party leader the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie promised the nation that the time for allowing the lies and misleading statements by the Government to go unchecked has ended.
To thunderous applause, Mr. Christie reminded the nation of the PLP’s continued effort to take the high road when dealing with the FNM but Mr. Ingraham’s recent attempt to belittle and malign the characters of a number of Bahamian clergy appearing in an investment book produced under the PLP to promote investment in the country was the last straw.
Mr. Christie asked “why is it that we should be expected to continue to have the grace and tact to be discreet in dealing with their supporters who give millions of dollars to them and have much to answer for and they drag people’s good names through the mud for nothing more than supporting us?”
Mr. Christie spoke about a recent conversation he had with a prominent white Bahamian where it was made patently clear to him and his team that despite the stellar performance of the PLP, this man nor his children or grand children would be able to support the PLP because of their color. Mr. Christie asked “why are we still living in a Bahamas where a political party continues to nurture this kind of thinking that goes beyond politics?”, referring to the FNM.
Turning his attention to the recent strategy of the FNM to attempt to demonize the PLP at every turn, Mr. Christie challenged the FNM leader to name one MP on his side who can honestly stand up to the record of former PLP Cabinet. Mr. Christie reminded the crowd that the record will reflect that in the course of five years, the Christie Administration was the most productive of any governments in the history of this country with the record to prove it. Under the last Pindling Administration, the government was able to attract almost $900 Million in Direct Foreign Investment. Under Mr. Ingraham, the number was $1.3 Billion. From 2002 to 2007 under the Christie Administration, the PLP was able to attract $2.6 Billion dollars in direct foreign investment.
Mr. Christie asked the nation to be mindful of what the FNM is trying to do in order to cover up the fact that they have not been performing properly over the last seven months.
The former Prime Minister also took a moment to address the persons affected by the FNM’s Stop, Review and then Cancel policy and in particular, the group of prison officers who recently had their promotions revoked. Mr. Christie said that it was his hope that the new year would be more prosperous than this Christmas because under the FNM, things were not looking good for some people.
Mr. Christie promised the Ingraham administration that the time for finger pointing and spreading lies and innuendo was over and that the PLP has had enough of the foolishness. The Bahamas is in the grip of a crime crisis and for the FNM to be wasting time trying to manipulate and campaign in the House of Assembly while there is much work to be done shows their callous disregard for the people’s business.
Mr. Christie thanked PLPs for their continued support and enthusiasm and pledged to work even harder next year to not only meet the FNM head on but also to continue his work in preparing the PLP for the next generation of leadership.
“Do not be caught up in the speculation in the media about who will lead this party in the future. Mrs. Pratt and I are of the view, as are our colleagues, that it is our duty to provide an orderly and clear succession for the leadership of the PLP” Mr. Christie said.
Wednesday night’s forum was the last for the year, as the Speakers and Issues Forum was held at Charlie’s Place on Fowler Street and carried live via radio stations in the country.