By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
HITTING out at critics of the secrecy surrounding the Baha Mar deal, Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts challenged Opposition Leader Dr Hubert Minnis to petition to the Supreme Court to have the documents unsealed if he “gave a damn” about the details.
Mr Roberts accused Dr Minnis of selfishly posturing for political gain, likening him to a “jumping jack” that flip-flopped on issues while never articulating a “sensible policy position”.
He claimed that while Dr Minnis sought to use the shuttered resort as a test of Prime Minister Perry Christie’s leadership and fitness to lead the country for another term, it was the Free National Movement leader’s handling of the debacle that failed the leadership test.
“Now that the caring PLP has secured guaranteed payments to public corporations, severed employees and displaced contractors, the FNM is now pretending to care about the details by inserting a dishonest narrative about a secret government deal,” Mr Roberts said.
“Additionally, Minnis must apologise to the Bahamian people for failing to protect their economic interests and the sovereignty of this country.
“His proposed handling of the Baha Mar bankruptcy was a leadership test that he failed miserably and proved his unfitness to lead or govern. Minnis simply makes terrible decisions.”
He added that Dr Minnis, FNM Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest, Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner and the “writers of nasty editorials” all need to apologise to Mr Christie for “all that drunken talk about being delusional and selling empty promises, misleading the Bahamian people and lacking credibility).”
“If Dr Minnis gave a damn about the details of the deal, he would send his chief legal advisor, speech writer and the worst attorney general and education minister this country has ever seen Senator Carl Bethel to petition the Supreme Court to have the documents immediately unsealed and to argue his reasons for having the same done.”
Prime Minister Perry Christie announced that a deal had been reached between the government and the Export-Import Bank of China (CEXIM) to remobilise the stalled resort during a nationally televised press conference last Monday. However, the highly anticipated address did not provide any clarity on a definitive buyer or sale price, or details on how unsecured creditors will be paid.
Mr Christie has insisted that lawyers have instructed him not to divulge relevant details because of the sensitivity of the matter and the amount of money being transacted among parties.
The Free National Movement has railed against the secrecy surrounding the deal, citing mounting public distrust in the Christie-led government amid speculation over the concessions given by the government.
Mr Roberts hit out at Dr Minnis and other detractors during an address to the party’s Golden Isles branch on Thursday.
“Minnis’ sole intent is selfish – it is pure deflection and political bluster - and has absolutely nothing to do with the welfare of this country,” he said.
“On the one hand Minnis is defending the Supreme Court’s decision to keep emails private but on the other hand he is opposing the same Supreme Court’s decision to temporarily seal the details of the Baha Mar until its conclusion.
“Make no mistake about it, the contents of the Save the Bays emails and this Baha Mar deal have implications for the country, be it national security or its economic security so apples are being compared to apples in this case for sure,” Mr Roberts said.