By RUPERT MISSICK JR
FNM Chairman Darron Cash said that Prime Minister Perry Christie will get both “political cover” and “support” from the FNM if he is honestly serious about addressing the country’s energy challenges.
However, Mr Cash said that the opposition is still concerned by Mr Christie’s flippant responses to concerns raised by the FNM on the restructuring and sale of BEC which “do nothing to address the fundamental issues raised.”
“If in this rare instance, he actually demonstrates the courage to make a difficult decision, we will stand with him and give him some political cover,” Mr Cash said.
The FNM chairman said that the party supports proactive actions to address the nation’s energy challenges but the Prime Minister must at least make the effort to do the right thing in the right way.
The last FNM government started that process with an intense focus on improving generation, access and customer service issues within BEC.
In pages 97-99 of the former government’s Manifesto 2012, the FNM said it was committed to taking even more progressive steps if they were returned to power that year.
“Notably, some of the items proposed by the Prime Minister are items already prescribed by the FNM. The issue that troubles us most is the absence of a meaningful process to address this issue.
“More importantly, we are profoundly disappointed in the Prime Minister’s failure to appreciate that Bahamians genuinely want to be a part of that process,” Mr Cash said.
He said the manner and timeline suggests that Mr Christie is running a “closed shop.”
Mr Cash also said that the work of the Christie appointed task force on the matter appears to have been conducted almost entirely in private.
“No public consultation, no opposition consultation, no BEC management consultation, no BEC union consultation.
The absence of broad public dialogue opens the process to doubts and speculation.
“It is as if the Prime Minister has forgotten the eight months he squandered on the gambling referendum. When our people don’t know, they vote no,” Mr Cash said.
Mr Cash said that the answers to the questions about who has been in the loop and who was excluded can very easily be solved with two words: full disclosure.
“Release the names and principals of all parties who have submitted proposals or have expressed interest in or been asked to express interest in BEC or government’s energy transformation programme up to the date of the Prime Minister’s release on Tuesday.
“Then when the process is closed, release the names of the companies submitting proposals after the announcement. That action would inspire confidence in the process. The PM does not need a freedom of information act to release this information; that is an executive decision,” Mr Cash said.