PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts.
By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts yesterday dug deeper into his narrative that Opposition Leader Dr Hubert Minnis has “sold the soul of the FNM” as he defended the government against accusations that it sided with Chinese allies on the pending sale of Baha Mar.
Mr Roberts took aim at the Free National Movement leader and his newly ratified Montagu candidate Dionisio D’Aguilar in two separate press releases issued yesterday.
Of the latter, he said it was unfortunate that the businessman failed to recognise that he must put his national interests first when there was a conflict between his role as a politician and his former position as a director of Baha Mar.
“Dr Hubert Minnis continues to demonstrate that he has sold the soul of the FNM and as a result is obliged to sing the tune of his new boss man even when it is baseless,” Mr Roberts said.
“This is baseless for one basic reason - for the PLP there is only one side and that is the side of the Bahamian people.
“We trust that an attorney who has Dr Minnis’ confidence will sit him down and make an attempt to educate him on the law and the process as The Bahamas is a nation of laws.
“Attacking new investors whatever their origin is not in the national interest any more than it would have been to attack all Canadians when Scotia called its loan on Baha Mar several years ago.”
Mr Roberts added: “It is not a good thing for the country for Dr Minnis to be so clearly demonstrating that lock, stock and barrel he had sold the soul of the FNM and is only doing the bidding of his new boss man. It makes the country look like a banana republic and is proving that he is unsuited and woefully unprepared to be prime minister.”
Turning his attention to Mr D’Aguilar, Mr Roberts said that the former director at the stalled resort failed to secure an appropriate performance bond when signing the construction contract - and that this failure did serious damage to the national interest of The Bahamas.
The PLP chairman said there is an “overt conflict of interest” when Mr D’Aguilar suggests that the government get over developer Sarkis Izmirlian’s decision to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US.
“In fact it goes further because it gives rise to the question as to whether this was the basis upon which the soul of the FNM was sold - that somehow an FNM government would forgive and forget the damage which was done to the national interest of the Baha Mar when a certain course of action was taken in the US courts,” Mr Roberts said.
“This instruction to the government gives rise for the PLP to assert its view that no government should deal with any attempt to destroy the national interest on the basis that when that effort fails, the government must do no more than get over it.
“I remind all of the bitter disappointment of thousands of Bahamians and others who were constantly assured that Baha Mar was on schedule and within budget, even to the extent of being 97 per cent complete.
“It begs the real question as to who was ‘in over his head?’”
Firing back at the PLP chairman last night, Mr D’Aguilar said he found it amazing that Mr Roberts seems to be able to find his voice to discuss the FNM’s affairs but remained silent on national issues.
He stated that Bahamians were tired of Mr Roberts’ useless rhetoric.