DEPUTY FNM leader Loretta Butler-Turner has lashed out at international casino mogul Phil Ruffin, telling him to keep his nose out of Bahamian politics.
Her statement comes after the former Crystal Palace Resorts owner was quoted in a local daily as saying the FNM was never his favourite party and that he is a “Perry man.”
“Mr Ruffin’s recent comments on our political system in the Bahamas were out of order and unbecoming of a foreign investor or potential investor in our country,” said Mrs Butler-Turner.
“Workers at the Crystal Palace will recall Mr Ruffin’s tenure as owner of that property which included disrespect for Bahamian workers, failure to invest in keeping the resort up to standard – causing the loss of the Marriott franchise; and most importantly failure to pay Bahamas casino taxes on a timely basis – if at all.”
She said the FNM demands to know if the taxes owed by Ruffin’s companies have been paid, and if not, when they will be.
Mrs Butler-Turner said if the company has yet to settle its debt with the Bahamian people, it should not be openly courted by our government, but rather be sued and brought before the Supreme Court.
She said many Bahamians were angered by the “audacity” of Mr Ruffin displayed by inserting himself into Bahamian politics, “commenting to journalists about which party or Prime Minister he believes to be good for the Bahamas. That is not his call.
“But we are even angrier that the Prime Minister of the Bahamas would have Mr Ruffin accompany him, in his official car, on a tour of a major tourism development.
“Prime Minister Christie should know better. We certainly expect better of the Prime Minister.”
The Nassau Guardian printed photos of Mr Christie and Mr Ruffin touring Atlantis earlier this week, and quoted the casino boss as saying he would like to buy the property if the deal is right.
However, the Brookfield Asset Management executive, directly responsible for the Atlantis and One & Only Ocean Club resorts, made it clear this week that the company was “not interested in selling” the Paradise Island resorts.