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Minnis: If You Reject 'No' Vote, Then Call A General Election

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Staff Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

OPPOSITION Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday said the government should call a general election if it planned to go against the January 2013 referendum on web shops.

Dr Minnis charged that any decision to revert from the referendum would signal a shift from democracy to dictatorship, hitting out at recent statements by several cabinet ministers that the legalization of number houses should be reconsidered.

He maintained that the official position of the Free National Movement remained unchanged despite the personal views expressed by its chairman Darron Cash.

Speaking outside of the House of Assembly, Dr Minnis said: “The people spoke, and we’re (FNM) on the side of the people. You (government) can not have a referendum and then ignore what the people say, because what does that say for future referendums? Once the people have spoken, then we follow what the people have said.”

Dr Minnis said: “Many PLPs during the entire ordeal remained quiet, the Prime Minister was the one doing all the talking. If they had something to say they should have said it then, why now come out and speak?”

Less than half of the country’s registered voters participated in the January 28, 2013 referendum.

There was an overwhelming “no” vote to both questions on the ballot.

The first question read: Do you support the regulation and taxation of Web Shop gaming? 

The second question read: Do you support the establishment of a National Lottery?

In an interview with The Tribune, Mr Cash called for the government to make the “tough decision” to move forward with bi-partisan discussions on web shops, adding that shutting down the unregulated businesses should no longer be an option.

Mr Cash’s statements follow declarations by Gaming Minister Obie Wilchcombe in December that web shop gaming is “not off the table” and is still up for discussion.

At that time, Mr Wilchcombe said he had started a series of meetings with religious leaders and those with interests in gaming in an effort to reintroduce the discussion of web shop gaming in 2014.

Since then, the Christian community has been divided over the issue.

Last month, pastor Lyall Bethel, of Grace Community Church, said religious leaders calling for gambling to be legalised in the Bahamas are at odds with the Christian Council.

Comments

B_I_D___ 5 years, 4 months ago

Amen to that!! Will it happen? Not in another 3 years anyways!! Sadly I would not vote FNM or PLP at the moment...not that I'd ever vote PLP...but that's besides the point.FNM are in no way organized or structured where they need to be to govern either...so we are still screwed.

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 4 months ago

The good Doctor said on the house floor that his Mother sent him to school off numbers, the FNM was the Government at that time, so I suppose that is the difference .The Doctor should be called Doctor NO.

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HarryWyckoff 5 years, 4 months ago

Surely Minnis knows there was noreferendum?

It was, at best, just another in a long list of the current Government's utter failures - .a disastrous and expensive 'opinion poll' with no balls, aimed at pacifying those who funded the PLP's election drive.

There was no obligation ever for the government to rule based on its results.

And lets face it, web shops are going nowhere - if the government did attempt to shut them down, they would simply go underground - the numbers racket is too engrained in the Bahamian culture for it to disappear overnight.

With that in mind, only a fool would think the best course is to attempt to shut them down, or simply maintain the status quo. It makes far more sense to regularise them and let the country benefit from the funds they can create in the form of taxation.

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HarryWyckoff 5 years, 4 months ago

Oh, and Ms Turnquest needs to check a dictionary when writing articles... I don't think unanimous means what she thinks it means.

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JohnDoes 5 years, 4 months ago

There is no way that the PLP will call a general election because they have plans for their next 3 years of good salaries, their pride alone will be their destruction. Minnis you better start shaking down your party, please vie for better fit candidates, Loretta is not ready to run or even help run this country, her emotions will cost us all.

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TalRussell 5 years, 4 months ago

Sounds to many Tribune readers, like Comrade Leader Minnis has have some serious “difficulty of he own in coming to terms with he very own party Chairman Darron? "FNM chairman Darron Cash yesterday called for the government to make the “tough decision” to move forward with bi-partisan discussions on web shops, adding that shutting down the unregulated businesses should no longer be an option. Mr Cash advised Prime Minister Perry Christie to “lead by example” and follow in the footsteps of previous Finance Ministers to resume talks with all stakeholders given the haphazard process surrounding the January 2013 gaming referendum. He (Comrade Reds Chairman) Darron acknowledged that persons who campaigned with the Vote No effort in the 2013 referendum will have a “difficulty coming to terms with that decision." Could this mean Comrade Deputy Chairman Dr. Duane gets a promotion to party Chairman, like today?

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JohnDoes 5 years, 4 months ago

As we've seen time and time again, Both FNM and PLP have leaders, but no member is held accountable for infringing the agenda of their respective parties by their leaders. The only two persons I know that have done this, and the only two persons I know that each member will respect first, before any declaration is made is the Late Sir Lynden Pindling and Hubert Ingraham.

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Reality_Check 5 years, 4 months ago

Bahamian voters all over the country are finally starting to realise that the PLP and FNM alike bear full responsibility for the sad state of our country's financial affairs, the exorbitant increases in our cost of living, our constant fear of crime, our failed judicial system rife with corrupt lawyers and the overall continued severe deterioration in the quality of our lives. We must out rightly reject and topple (by force if necessary) PLP and FNM sponsored dictatorships that serve to enrich the ruling corrupt political elite and their equally criminal and greedy business cronies who constantly seek to unjustly benefit themselves at the cruel expense of many hard working honest Bahamians who stand little or no chance of making ends meet in a rigged society and economy.

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 4 months ago

It is true Ms Turnquest made a mistake using the word unanimous. But Dr. Minnis statements makes no sense where does dictatorship and calling an election come in. He should be very careful he does not loose his seat when an election is called. The man has no vision, not one single original idea has come out of his mouth. As far as his love for Bahamians and their advancement.. He belongs to the party that says "Bahamians Need not apply..

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BahamasGamingAssociation 5 years ago

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bahama...">https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bahama...

WHICH ON OF THE BELOW REIGNS SUPREME IN THE BAHAMAS?

The Bahamas Lottery and Gaming Act Chapter 387 Section 50 Persons prohibited from Gaming

Or

The Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Chapter III – Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedom of the Individual. Section 26 Protection from Discrimination on grounds of Race, Place of Origin etc.

The Bahamas Gaming Association stands by the Ideology that all human beings who are 18 years or older should be treated equally in all sectors of the Bahamian Economy which is enshrined in the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

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