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Fnm Pledge On Baha Mar Sale

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FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis

By TANEKA THOMPSON

Tribune News Editor

tmthompson@tribunemedia.net

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis has pledged that his party will “engage and execute a real sale” of the Baha Mar resort “to a qualified and respectable purchaser who believes in Bahamians,” should the opposition party win the next general election.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page on Sunday, Dr Minnis also said this buyer would use only Bahamian labour to complete the beleaguered resort, while again promising that his party would make public the details relating to the Baha Mar deal and any other government dealings with Chinese investors.

This position was welcomed by a source with intimate knowledge of the property.

The source, who did not want to be named, called Dr Minnis’ pledge a “game changer for the property” that if followed through with, would likely start a “bidding war where the Chinese would no doubt be out”.

The insider added that Baha Mar developer Sarkis Izmirlian would “be able to beat any bidder”.

For his part, Dr Minnis said despite pronouncements from the Christie administration, the $3.5bn resort is not open and it is uncertain when this will occur.

“The reality my dear friends is that the resort, sadly remains unsold, despite the many, many pronouncements by our delusional prime minister to the contrary,” Dr Minnis said.

“Yet, the government, in the lead up to the general election continues in its charade. This week it was revealed that the new ‘alleged purchaser’ of the resort had only hired 650 of their promised 1,500 Bahamian employees, with little over a month to go before its ‘soft opening’ on April 21. We remind the public that there has been no marketing of this resort or room inventory being brought online for this ‘soft opening,’ which only confirms the true political motives behind this opening date, just weeks ahead of what will be our general election.

“The PLP should be ashamed of themselves; but they have no shame. This is a government that proclaimed they believed in Bahamians, but operates in secret, and counter to the best interests of this country,” Dr Minnis said.

“That is why your Free National Movement makes the following pledge to you: when your Free National Movement comes to office, we will make public all deals by this government with the Chinese with respect to this and any other secret deal this administration may have entered into.

“Your Free National Movement government will engage and execute a real sale of Baha Mar to a qualified and respectable purchaser who believes in Bahamians; a purchaser who will utilise only Bahamian labour to complete the resort, and will put Bahamians back to work with real jobs as quickly as possible.

“All applicable taxes must be paid to the Treasury on this sale, including any VAT, stamp tax, casino license fees, etc. In keeping with our mandate of accountability and transparency, your Free National Movement government will also make public all negotiations in this regard and have them tabled in Parliament.

“Due to the national interest of this asset, the Bahamian people deserve no less from their government. They deserve a government that works on their behalf and not an administration that is more focused on their own self-interest. The Bahamian people deserve a government that works for them,” Dr Minnis said.

On Friday, Dr Minnis also agreed with Dame Joan Sawyer, who last week suggested that there were no legal grounds to seal the new deal to open the resort .

Dame Joan, the former president of the Court of Appeal, said there is much confusion over how the judgment of a publicly heard civil case could be sealed.

Dr Minnis said this was why the sealing of the documents was “all the more outrageous.”

“The embattled prime minister and his attorney general of all people should know, our Constitution requires that civil proceedings must be public, except in matters of defence, public safety or public order,” Dr Minnis said in a press statement. “So their efforts to shield their secret Baha Mar deal with their Chinese allies from the public is all the more outrageous. It’s no wonder that the Bahamian people have lost all trust and confidence in this government.

“Even the former president of the Court of Appeal is questioning Prime Minister Christie and the attorney general’s control over the courts. Elected officials are meant to uphold the law, not twist it to fit their own political and personal agendas.

“Yet with all their twisted and contorted efforts to hide the details of their secret Baha Mar deal from the Bahamian people we are witnessing the great length to which career politicians will go as they desperately try to hold onto power,” the Killarney MP said.

A source close to the property believes the court documents relating to the sale have been sealed to “hide” a drop in the resort’s sale price.

Prime Minister Perry Christie announced the official sale of Baha Mar to CTF BM Holdings, a subsidiary of CTFE last December, at the time stating the resort was set for a phased opening beginning in April 2017, and a full completion by this fall. It has since been revealed that the sale has not been finalised and that the opening date for the Rosewood hotel brand, owned by the Baha Mar buyer, has seemingly been delayed to Spring 2018.

Last December, Mr Christie did not disclose the sale price of Baha Mar, adding that details of the deal are still sealed by the Supreme Court at the request of the Export-Import Bank of China.

The government has since announced plans to table the sealed Baha Mar documents ahead of the April soft opening.

Comments

jackbnimble 9 months ago

Translation: Izmirilian I've already promised you in private that if the FNM wins the general elections I'm gonna get your hotel back for you. Now I'm putting it out there in the public so you'll see I'm working for all that money and the candidates you gave me.

What's wrong with this statement? First He's given the PLP a heads up to ensure he cannot break any existing contract with the Chinese like Ingraham did with Batelco. Secondly Bahamar is owned by the Chinese not the Government. The Government has no say as the Chinese hold all the cards and will use it to screw them over.

He and his Izmilriluan crew (headed by Diaglar) are gonna be one frustrated bunch IF they even get in.

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athlete12 9 months ago

Minnis brings up some good points. This Baha Mar situations reeks of corruptions and poor business negotiations.

I'd like to hear the FNM plans especially dealing with the Chinese Bank who supposedly requested the documents of the sale be seal. A reminder that the Chinese also sold the government riot control equipment.

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ThisIsOurs 9 months ago

"REE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis has pledged that his party will “engage and execute a real sale” of the Baha Mar resort “to a qualified and respectable purchaser who believes in Bahamians,” should the opposition party win the next general election."

Im begging Dr Minnis, please don't make any wild promises. The most you can do is expose any agreements that were not made in the best interest of the Bahamas. You could claim the property but there are repercussions and those need to be carefully considered and not spoken about in loosey goosey language. No wild, uninformed promises please. I

t would be good to have a legitimate buyer and not a chess player.

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banker 9 months ago

Actually, if there was no sale, the property could be nationalised by act of Parliament and handed to Sarkis or anyone.

This could be an opening gambit to get the big money behind the FNM. It is a brilliant strategic move on Minnis' part.

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ThisIsOurs 9 months ago

Yeah I don't think the Chinese have hotels or the national interest in mind, but I'm gonna bet there's a cost to seizing the property. I'm just saying before he says "I'm going to sell it", he should determine what the consequences are so he doesn't relay the message that it's "easy" and without a price, he can't know until he sees the details of the contract.

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ThisIsOurs 9 months ago

I would have been satisfied if he promised to review the contract, reveal the details and "look" for a real buyer. To promise he would get it sold is something else completely...

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TalRussell 9 months ago

Comrades! If the Tribune's "source with intimate knowledge of the Baha Mar property" just happens to be contesting a constituency seat for the Red Party come the 2017 General, some thinks the Tribune has a journalistic responsibility to reveal their "source? They are no longer just a private citizen/resident.
However, this project has been fraught with problems from day one and blame has be shared by both prime ministers Christie and Papa Hubert. Still it does not excuse that Minnis has had five years to get his red ducks in a row on how to deal with Baha Mar in the best interests of taxpayers and this move of his is not well thought out.

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banker 9 months ago

I was going to write something about you painting Papa with the same sh*t brush as Crisco Butt, but I have something that will intrigue you. Here is something to put into your pipe and smoke.

There have been two casino managers already identified by Baha Mar (whoever the hell that is and is running it -- because there is no sale). But let me fill you in. The two named executives have interesting connections.

If you trot over to the Nassau Guardian website, you will see the names of Pariente and Zaremba. Why has Zaremba stated on social media that he was the VP of casino at Baha Mar in NOVEMBER OF LAST YEAR? Who was paying his salary? The putative buyer hadn't been made public yet. The Fooking guys were not in the picture. The construction guys won't pay a casino VP salary? It had to be coming out of the treasury.

And the other guy -- Pariente was a Baha Mar man when Sarkis was running the joint. Then he went to work for Hard Rock (of which the Nassau version was forcibly repossessed by Pere (Haitian for Dad) Marvin, the father of the ex Minister of Financial Services.) Like about a half a degree of separation between the government and what is going on now.

All of this leads me to believe that their is a hemorrhage of tax payer money out of the Treasury, and the Fooking thing is one huge election ploy and Potemkin village. Glad to see Sarkis using the term, as I was the first to call it this.

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TalRussell 9 months ago

Comrade Banker, then ask Minnis to stop with the same PLP political sidestepping to tell us who in the hell is he going to sell Baha Mar to?
I'm sorry, but Minnis is no different from Christie - with both having the same chief goal to be elected the government in 2017 - and it's highly doubtful either will do anything substantively new at Baha Mar.. I'm also sorry but you can't just remove Papa Hubert's hands from Baha Mar.
At least Minnis, has made his threat in the name of "all Red 2017 General candidates" and they too must be prepared to answered their prospective constituents questions on what the hell is Minnis talking about?
Is Minnis, saying that the PLP are not trying to sell Baha Mar?

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banker 9 months ago

So your moral compass is that skewed? Christie is a vomit-swimming, liar. Minnis is not. Christie has lied and lied and lied to the Bahamian public. They are not the same. One is a decent human being and the other is an odious, offensive, anti-patriotic, PLP scumbag.

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TalRussell 9 months ago

Comrade Banker, not to duck or disappoint you, since no one knows all there is to know about other people, you're aware I don't deal in guttering-up the reasons behind other peoples actions. However, I'm going suggest the Red Party takes away Minnis'a Facebook page, if they don't want their very own Trump on their hands. I will draw your attention that even Winston Churchill, John Kennedy, Pop Symonette, Pindling and yes even Papa Hubert, also had their share people who described them as scumbags.

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deephole 9 months ago

Wonder where the vat money gone. Also in the other daily the AG said that the slot machines were on the dock. Is this info part of the AG department??

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Honestman 9 months ago

Baha Mar has NOT been sold and if, as is likely, it remains unsold by the time the FNM reclaims control of government then Minnis is entitled (if not required) to do what is best for the Bahamian people. I welcome this announcement. I would welcome even more a pledge by Minnis to hold a Commission of Enquiry over the whole Baha Mar debacle and the rest of the corrupt dealings perpetrated by this PLP administration since May 2012.

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TalRussell 9 months ago

Comrades! We all know PM Christie gets his legal advice from his trusted madame attorney general Allyson. However, we're not even sure Minnis sought or received legal advice prior to his Face-book press release on how he plans on selling Baha Mar, if he becomes PM soon in 2017? I mean shouldn't Minnis at least know what the 'escape clause' is in the signed contracts and how many millions will it cost taxpayers when he rips them contracts up?
I mean, do we even know, if Minnis, actually still has a shadow attorney general who hasn't crossed the floor over to Loretta's Coup of MP's? And, he thinks it's Baha Mar that's in a mess but he still thinks as PM he can just jump-in and sell Baha Mar - properties the government doesn't own?
Had only Minnis, had a trusted shadow AG in place, they would remind him that people who sell lands they do not own - can be sent to Fox Hill as a guest Her Majesty, Da Queen.

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ThisIsOurs 9 months ago

I'm agreeing with you, everyone wants the place sold and out of the hands of the exam bank, but I think Minnis went one step too far with his promises since he doesn't know any of the details in the contract.

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Sickened 9 months ago

'Escape clause'? We don't even know for sure that there is a sales agreement or any agreement in place with anyone. We know nothing concrete about a deal with Fook other than what lying politicians have vomited out of their mouths.

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birdiestrachan 9 months ago

Chinese Allies, Sources close to the property, The insider, Sources with intimate knowledge of the property. could this be the wash house man ? who knows better than to put his name to such

foolishnes. "roc with doc can not sell what does not belong to him or the FNM party. one can only sell what one owns. The Chinese Allies or not own the property.

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BaronInvest 9 months ago

If this happens there is a good chance our investment group might come back to the Bahamas. Under your current government your country is uninvestable.

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TalRussell 9 months ago

Comrade BaronInvest, the following was taken directly from the web page Bran's, Halsbury Law Chambers.

"A chain of islands nearly 500 miles in length off the tip of Florida and running nearly to Cuba, The Bahamas ranks among the world’s finest destinations for investment. The oldest and most stable democracy in the Western Hemisphere with a 280-year-old peaceful Parliamentary form of government whose history dates back to 1729"
.

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banker 9 months ago

What folks here don't realise, is that it doesn't matter what contracts are signed, it doesn't matter who owns what -- if by an act of parliament, Baha Mar is nationalised, it reverts to the sovereign government at whatever price they choose to pay. If it is not sold, then the nationalisation process is much easier.

read it: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/nationalization.asp They don't even have to pay for it.

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TalRussell 9 months ago

Comrade Banker, I knows we both loves we home-baked laced brownies, but one a day is more than enough - and not too thickly laced mind altering ingredients, okay?

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banker 9 months ago

Methinks that you are not only starting to see the light, but feeling the heat as well. Ain't cognitive dissonance a b*tch? I least that I hope that it all wasn't driven out of you like some auto-immune disorder. Even birdie should have a shred of decency emerge after she is flogged.

But you may also be birdie under a different account. Who knows? Brainwashing is a terrible thing.

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TalRussell 9 months ago

Comrade Banker, I long ago saw the light when Papa Hubert promised how he was going fly to China to read the Chinese government the riot act, about how the zmirlian Baha Mar, was too big of a project to attempt at one time. However, Papa decided best to keep his prime ministerial mouth shut, not so easy for a loose mouth's man - only to return with 5000 signed work permits in he briefcase for Chinese nationals labourers. Oh yes, Papa Hubert and the Chinese Bank (government) and construction company have all been in Baha Mar's cross hairs, from day one.

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ThisIsOurs 9 months ago

Yeah, they can do it but it's not going to be clean and easy. Hubert Minnis needs not to make wild promises. Just promising to review the deal is a good start.

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Publius 9 months ago

The FNM has already indicated that it will not nationalize Baha Mar

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John 9 months ago

The real facts are that the Chinese may not be interested in opening Bah Mar right now or even in the immediate future. The Chinese are in a race against the US and other super powers to buy up and own as many assets as possible. In the Bahamas and Caribbean, South America (yes they now control the Panama Canal and has made it twice the original size), South America, the Middle East, Africa, Cuba or where any valuable assets are located. The Chinese strategy seems to be 'get possession first, get them operational later. This is no new Economic strategy as America has assets located all around the world. Then back in the day Britain, Spain, France, Greece and other countries all went out and conquered territories and called them colonies. So the little window dressing you see going on at Bah Mar may only be a token effort by the Chinese to help Perry Christie and the PLP win the election.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 9 months ago

In a highly improper attempt to protect its significant investment interests in our country, Red China through the China Export-Import Bank has decided to assist the PLP government in 'buying' votes in the upcoming general election to the tune of many millions of dollars. This is an instance of outright glaring election fraud and outrageous interference by a super power nation in the internal governance affairs of a much much smaller country. Red China, with the assistance of the Crooked Christie-led corrupt PLP government, is now engaged in an all out assault on our nation's sovereignty by blatantly and unconscionably undermining our democratic processes. This fact alone justifies any new Bahamas government giving the China Export-Import Bank (effectively the government of Red China) notice that they are expected to sell their entire interest in the Baha Mar property to one or more acceptable third party buyers (i.e. acceptable buyer(s) in no way connected to the government of Red China or domiciled in that country) within a reasonable period of time, failing which the new Bahamas government will nationalize the property in the national security interest of the Bahamas and then sell it and remit the sales proceeds, net of costs incurred, to the China Export-Import Bank. Red China's government will respect this decision as it is precisely what they would do if the government of another country was found to be surreptitiously interfering in the internal politics and governmental affairs of their own country.

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licks2 9 months ago

I heard how the doc says he will nationalized Baha Mar in the Guardian . . .I went to and listen to Guardian radio and did not find any statement of selling the hotel. . .however he did say he will find a buyer. . .as did the PLP, Papa FNM and all connected with that place since 2008. Hell. . .PM Christie, MOE, AG etc. just told us recently that "THEY" "your government" . . .the exact words of our AG has found a buyer for the hotel!! SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOO. . .if we government was "finding" buyers. . .gern all over the world to meet with interested buyers to have no part in the hotel. . .NOBODY AND THEY MAR EVER, NEVER GOT ON THE GOVERNMENT AND LET THEM KNOW THEY DON'T OWN ANYTHING IN BAHAMAR AND SHOULD KEEP THEIR HANDS OFF. . .IN FACT WE ENCOURAGED THEM TO FIND A BUYER. . .BUT ONE WORD ABOUT FINDING A BUYER FOR THE HOTEL BY THE DOC. . .BOOM! The Guardian and the PLP gone bunkers. . .he implying that the government will take the people hotel. . .he can't find no buyer. . .the government don't own any hotel!! Ladies and gentlemen. . .if any of yall can "get a handle" on what did the doc say to cause this "spitting fest" please help me. . .cause I een see it! I wanna know how come the PLP government was the sitting at the table to sell that hotel all over the world. . .they been to court on behalf of the bank owner. . .THE PEOPLE CAN'T TELL WHO OWNS THE HOTEL. . .THE GOVERNMENT WAS LOOKING FOR A BUYER FOR YEARS!! LET ME JUST STOP HERE. . .I EEN MAKING NO SENSE HERE. . .GERN ROUND IN CIRCLE HERE. . .HELP!

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