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Analysis: False Signals By Pm On Crime And Baha Mar

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

IN 2015, Prime Minister Perry Christie’s public stance on the two biggest issues of the year - the stalled Baha Mar project and the rise of violent crime - was characterised by false signals and vague allusions to impending actions that never materialised.

From May to December, Mr Christie predicted an imminent resolution to Baha Mar’s problems that would result in the remobilisation of the resort, even as some stakeholders increasingly cautioned him in the press to choose his words more carefully on a matter hardly under his control.

With respect to crime, he told the press throughout autumn that his government would roll out new policies to counteract the rise in violence.

But in both instances, the actions he alluded to never materialised.

Mr Christie frequently spoke indirectly about when the impending action would take place, The Tribune’s analysis shows, often using ambiguous terms and phrases that granted considerable and convenient flexibility to the timeline of his promises – pledging action “soon,” “in the not too distant future” and “in a few weeks”.

Regarding false signals, among his greater errors, Mr Christie on May 13 said Baha Mar was not running out of the cash needed to finish the multi-billion dollar project, a view reiterated by Baha Mar’s public relations director at the time.

However, Baha Mar filed for bankruptcy in a US Delaware Court a month later, fearing that its financial situation had become too precarious.

During his budget communication on May 27, Mr Christie said Baha Mar’s developer Sarkis Izmirlian was nearing the end of talks with the resort’s general contractor China Construction America (CCA) regarding the completion of the project and the announcement of the resort’s new opening date.

It was the third time in that month that Mr Christie had said the relevant parties were nearing an imminent resolution to the controversy, a prediction that proved false.

On June 17, 12 days before Baha Mar filed for bankruptcy, Mr Christie once again said in the House of Assembly that he had received “encouraging” news about a possible resolution to the Baha Mar deadlock, although he failed to provide specifics.

On July 8, weeks after the resort filed for bankruptcy, Mr Christie told reporters that he was optimistic that Baha Mar’s developer, CCA and the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM), would reach a resolution on their issues so the property could open for the winter season in November.

However, not only did the property fail to open, but in late October Baha Mar was placed into receivership, bringing an end to any hope of a resolution between the developer, contractor and lender in 2015.

On September 23, Mr Christie once again expressed optimism without providing specifics, telling the press that he had been reassured through discussions with the chairman of China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) – CCA’s parent company – that the company was committed to the “early completion and opening” of Baha Mar.

He did not say what he meant by “early completion” for a resort that had long missed its original deadline for opening.

And as 2015 ended, Baha Mar’s subcontractors remained unpaid.

More recently, Mr Christie told the press on December 26 that he expects Baha Mar to be completed early this year, although he failed to give a specific date for the restart of construction at the resort or a date for when the property might open.

With respect to crime, Mr Christie increased his utterances on the matter as homicides soared to record breaking heights in 2015.

On November 12, he said his government would release new crime fighting strategies that could have an “impact on our own freedom to move about”.

Although he never elaborated on this, days later, on November 16, he suggested that in a matter of weeks Bahamians would see his government’s new and aggressive crime fighting strategies.

But as 2015 came to a close without the new crime fighting strategies coming into force, Mr Christie offered yet another promise in his Christmas address to the nation, saying his government would introduce “tougher measures” to combat crime in 2016.

Comments

tript 5 years, 11 months ago

China calls the shots here(they should of know that when they took thier money) and every one else will be left holding nothing it is a shame

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jackbnimble 5 years, 11 months ago

When are yall gonna get it? The Emperor IS wearing new clothes!

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JohnBuchanan 5 years, 11 months ago

The Prime Minister can solve both problems, plus reduce unemployment, in 3 easy steps. 1) Buy Baha Mar 2) Turn it into a prison and go on a crime busting spree. 3) Hire the 2,000 redundant Baha Mar employees and retrain them as prison guards. Then he will be re-elected in a landslide! Or maybe not...

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Emac 5 years, 11 months ago

Ha! That ought to fix the problem. LMAO...

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kaytaz 5 years, 11 months ago

Say sovereignty!!! That is why we didn't let the developers case go ahead in Delaware.So, now we wait on China to do whatever they want.SOVEREIGNTY!!! You can't have it both ways PLP

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marrcus 5 years, 11 months ago

was never about sovereignty...........chapter 11 hearings would have exposed all of the shenanigans that went on (are going on) in this mess. Lawyers would be all up in Perrys junk. Perry don't play dat. PLP forever.

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banker 5 years, 11 months ago

Christie has turned to out-and-out lying to save his skin, with no regard for being outed in the very near future of his pronouncements. He is suffering from some sort of dementia, probably caused by his last stroke.

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Honestman 5 years, 11 months ago

Perry Christie possesses not a single shred of credibility. His public utterances over the last few years, and in particular over the last six months, indicate that he has completely lost all sense of rationality. NOTHING he says can be trusted any longer. He and his cabinet are incapable of progressing ANY initiative. They are becoming desperate now as the May 2017 election draws ever closer. The frenzied push towards NHI without any meaningful public consultation and a lack of proper costing just illustrates how desperate they are. The electorate will judge the PLP harshly next May on their two major failings of crime and jobs. They promised that they had solutions to both and they lied. Unfortunately they have time to cause terminal damage to the economy in the months they have remaining. At this point, the only hope is that Bahamian doctors refuse to sign up for this NHI "illusion" and set it aside until a more responsible government takes charge.

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 11 months ago

Take heart guys ........................ this is 2016 ........... election will be in a year (or less) ........ Perry must call election by August next year ............. he could run but he cannot hide from us

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