By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
BAHAMIANS awarded contracts by the former government have had their agreements terminated by the new PLP-led administration, according to Opposition Leader-elect Hubert Minnis.
The Killarney MP was unanimously elected to the post during a meeting with the Free National Movement’s parliamentary group and central council last night.
After he is sworn in by the Governor General, Dr Minnis said his party’s first task will be to request Prime Minister Perry Christie and Deputy Prime Minister “Brave” Davis to provide details on their consultancy work for the oil company Bahamas Petroleum.
“We’re going to look at everything they do,” Dr Minnis said.
“I’ve already been informed that individuals, Bahamians – and (the PLP) say Bahamians first – Bahamians who have had contracts to build houses and do other things within this Bahamas have already had their contracts removed.”
Dr Minnis said: “They’ve not been in office more than two days yet and they have already started victimising Bahamians, yet they say Bahamians first.
“So we will aggressively pursue that and other matters we've heard of.”
Dr Minnis said it was an honour to accept the invitation for the post on the 27th anniversary of one of the founding fathers of the party, Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield.
“The transition of office from one party to the next in government has been seamless.
“This is a matter of national pride in our vibrant and enduring parliamentary democracy,” he added.
While Dr Minnis has been selected as the Leader of Opposition, and will subsequently be appointed by the Governor General, party national chairman Carl Bethel explained that the party will still have to choose a new leader in convention.
The party will host a one-day working convention on May 26 to determine the leader, deputy leader, and other party officers, according to Mr Bethel.
Mr Bethel confirmed that party leader Hubert Ingraham plans to take his oath as the representative for North Abaco in the House of Assembly, and subsequently resign at his earliest convenience.
Mr Bethel said: “If and when a bye-election is called in our seat, I believe it is every likelihood that the FNM will fight the bye-election to retain our seat, a seat that has already been won on the past four occasions on behalf of the FNM.”
Mr Bethel said the party had not yet started dialogue on the selection of senators, but noted that the process would be completed well before the opening of the House of Assembly on May 23.
Last night, Dr Minnis expressed his gratitude to his constituents, campaign staff, loved ones, and the current leader of the party Hubert Ingraham, whom he called a “special and personal” friend.
He thanked Mr Ingraham for his “outstanding service to the people of The Bahamas and the FNM”.
“We were faced with a recession, the entire world was faced with a recession, when you look at what has happened with the US and other countries, they are preparing through all these infrastructural changes, they’re preparing for what I term the new first world. Hubert Ingraham was preparing The Bahamas to join this new first world,” he said.
Dr Minnis said: “For the sake of all Bahamians, let us pledge to carry on his legacy and vision, which is to build a greater opportunity society for every Bahamian across the length and breadth of the country.”