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Minnis: Christie’S ‘Good News’ Not Based On Fact

Dr Hubert Minnis

Dr Hubert Minnis

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday called Baha Mar’s recent bankruptcy filing a “national disaster”, and blasted Prime Minister Perry Christie for “willingly being the purveyor of untruths” on the status of the project.

Dr Minnis suggested that Mr Christie has continuously misled the public about the financial state of affairs surrounding the $3.5bn Cable Beach mega-resort, as well as the status of the impasse at the resort due to a dispute between Baha Mar and its general contractor, China Construction America (CCA). Last night, Mr Christie refuted those claims in a statement.

Dr Minnis said Mr Christie should “come clean with the Bahamian people” and “state factually and succinctly the exact circumstances governing developments” at Baha Mar. He added that the Christie administration was caught “flatfooted and in the dark” when the news broke.

He said the government appears to be “clueless as to their next move” on the matter.

On Monday, Baha Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian announced that Baha Mar filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Delaware Court in the United States “in order to complete construction and successfully open.”

The shock announcement came less than two weeks after Mr Christie said he received “encouraging” news about a possible impending resolution to the Baha Mar deadlock. Prior to that, Mr Christie continuously expressed optimism over a near conclusion to the dispute, which has led Baha Mar to delay its opening three times.

At a press conference at the Free National Movement headquarters yesterday, however, Dr Minnis said it was “abundantly clear” that “none of Mr Christie’s announcements of resolution and good news were based on believable facts.”

“Over the past two months, the prime minister has repeatedly told the Bahamian people that he was on his way to or from a meeting with representatives of the developer, the construction company and the banker,” he said. “He has been ‘fervently’ hopeful for a resolution to the problems affecting the development or excitedly waiting for confirmation of ‘good news’.

“We in the FNM renew our call for the government and very particularly for the prime minister to come clean with the Bahamian people and to state factually and succinctly the exact circumstances governing developments at this major development.”

This year, Mr Christie has been accused of sending mixed messages on Baha Mar and not working hard enough to ensure the property opens as soon as possible.

On June 17, he said he planned to meet with Mr Izmirlian to discuss “good” news, upon the latter’s return from China for talks with the resort’s financier, China Export-Import Bank.

During his budget communication on May 27, Mr Christie said Baha Mar’s developer was nearing the end of talks with China Construction on the completion of the project and the announcement of the resort’s opening date.

On May 11, he expressed optimism after mediating a meeting with Baha Mar, China Construction America and the Chinese ambassador to the Bahamas. He said he “articulated a position” that would result in a “shared position” between the three parties which would give “priority” to the “interests of Bahamian people,” the resort and China Construction.

In Monday’s statement to the media, Mr Izmirlian said Baha Mar would continue for a period to operate and fund payroll. However, if a consensual resolution is not made in the next few weeks, he said Baha Mar will “have to make some extremely difficult decisions that would include workforce reduction.”

That same day more than 2,000 Baha Mar workers were told to stay at home until further notice as the mega-resort pledged to pay salaries and benefits for the next three weeks until it begins court hearings on its bankruptcy claim.

On this issue, Dr Minnis said: “We are especially concerned for the 2,000 plus employees of the resort whose continued employment is in jeopardy. And we are concerned for all the Bahamian contractors engaged by the developers who have no idea when Baha Mar will be in a position to make good on monies owed to them for work completed and continuing up to a few days ago.”

Comments

GrassRoot 4 years, 1 month ago

so wonder what happens to the Chinese workers that are locked out. The are not getting paid anyway, but are they now moving to the out islands to establish Chinese settlements?

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Chucky 4 years, 1 month ago

who cares, just another fitting occurrence in our country! We're a disaster as a nation! We're a disaster as people! Our politicians are all crooked and nasty! Our people are mostly crooked, fat, lazy and stupid! We've reaped what we've sewn!!!!!!!!!!!

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TalRussell 4 years, 1 month ago

Comrades here we goes again where da honoursble leader her Majesty's official opposition will settle for an apology from da PM?
What a mess the FNM finds themselves in cuz the bankruptcy Baha Mar has now placed Papa Hubert into permanent exile, Minnis is ineffective and Brent badly fizzled-out a few weeks back in his come-back attempt, and that leaves Loretta, who says, she's their best bet, but we all knows, she's no winning bet come da 2017 General Elections. PM Christie might just make his way out this one too?

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duppyVAT 4 years, 1 month ago

Hubert Minnis............. please hurry down to the PM Office and get the briefing he promised you........ so that the two of you can catch a plane to Beijing asap and meet with the Chinese President and solve this embarrassing international problem .................... or see if Izzie will take it easy on this bankruptcy deal

This is your time to prove yourself as the "thinker" and "surgical accuracy" in making decisions

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ThisIsOurs 4 years, 1 month ago

Minnis photo says it all :

To the left, to the left, Everything you own in the box to the left, To the left, to the left, Don't you ever for a second get to thinking, You're irreplaceable -Beyoncé

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birdiestrachan 4 years, 1 month ago

Chucky speak for yourself. Not ever one see the Bahamas and its people the way you do.. Minnis will do well to stop playing political games, Not every issue deserves his show off man ship. But I did notice his boss man Brent Symonette right there with him and Minnis was sucking up But Symonette was on his cell phone. Minnis better watch it. they coming to get him.

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banker 4 years, 1 month ago

So birdie, tell us what you think in your heart of all PLP hearts about Baha Mar, Perry Christie and your future in the Bahamas? Why do you settle for mediocre and support the PLP? Do you devalue yourself that much, that you deserve to be lied to and stolen from by your beloved PLP vomit?

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realfreethinker 4 years, 1 month ago

banker i would love to hear birdie's response.Even hard core plp Talrussell has seen the light

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banker 4 years, 1 month ago

It's a knee jerk reaction by PLP partisans. When the evidence of PLP perfidy is so self-evident that even a partisan child can see it, it strikes them to the core of their belief system, so they have to lash out at anything else but their beloved, putrid PLP, and the only other game in town is the FNM.

The reason for this, according to a study by Duke University, stems from an inferiority complex about their core beliefs. Rather than re-examining and shifting those core beliefs, which is stress-causing and actually hard work, they would rather lie to themselves, and vociferously defend something that they know in their heart of all hearts, is wrong. It is what the PLP want -- don't believe what your eyes and your reason tell you -- believe what we tell you. And the amazing part, is that the sheeple do ! !

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proudloudandfnm 4 years, 1 month ago

You know Perry probably does believe he brokered a deal. And that's just sad. Shows just how incredibly ignorant he is in business....

The only deal we've read about is China Construction trying to extort more money from Bahamar. If that's the deal Perry brokered then he really needs to go back to school...

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duppyVAT 4 years, 1 month ago

Let us pray for the government and people of our country during this trying time ..........God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas ............... Let us pray that God will direct righteous men and women who will rise up to lead us forward upward onward together in 2015 and beyond

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Emac 4 years, 1 month ago

God answers prayer. But I don't know duppyvat, you are asking for much.

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banker 4 years, 1 month ago

It little things that grow bigger and bigger until they take on a life of their own, and reap bad consequences. Even in nature, a tiny rock on a mountain is washed out by rain. Rain water drips into the cavity and dissolves minerals following the veins until year later, the entire side of the mountain comes down.

For World War I, the tiny event that triggered the war was a young student assassinating Archduke Ferdinand in Serbia. That event triggered a world at war. There are many, many examples in history.

I am wondering if this event will initiate a series of events that leads to economic failure, and then a failure of state coupled to anarchy and rampant crime like Jamaica experienced, where entire neighbourhoods were not controlled by police.

From my experience, I have seen nothing but decline in almost every measure of human development in Nassau in the past twenty years, and lately, the decline is increasing at a furious rate.

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duppyVAT 4 years, 1 month ago

Did Brave Davis and the NolleAG write that press statement for the lameduck Prime Minister to read ........... Did anyone read that Nassau Guardian letter written by Orthland Bodie???????? These PLP sharks are lining up to eat Perry alive .................. we need to banish the PLP in the next general election for GOOD ..................... they are ruining this country and need to be purged

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