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‘It Was My Duty To Fire Rebels’

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Freeport Reporter

dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said that his decision to revoke the government appointments of three Free National Movement members of Parliament who voted no to an increase in value added tax was not personal, but was based on his responsibility and obligation to follow parliamentary procedure.

While speaking to reporters in Grand Bahama yesterday, Dr Minnis stressed that he will not shirk his responsibility.

“I cannot allow my personal views to get into democracy; we have a parliamentary procedure, and I must adhere, respect, and ensure the procedure lives on, and is honoured, and respected thoroughly,” he said on the sidelines of a conference.

Dr Minnis fired Bain and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson and Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller from their posts as parliamentary secretaries and Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine from his post as chairman of the Hotel Corporation. Mr Robinson and Mr Miller were cited for breaching the Manual of Cabinet and Ministry Procedure.

On Monday night, the three MPs, with Centreville MP Reece Chipman and three members of the Official Opposition, voted against an amendment to VAT legislation which would increase the tax to 12 percent. 

After addressing a large turnout at the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference, Dr Minnis was asked by a reporter to comment on the firing of Mr McAlpine, who was met by a large crowd of supporters at the airport on his return to Grand Bahama on Tuesday evening.  

He said: “As prime minister I have a responsibility, we are a democratic society and we practice the Westminster system of Parliament procedure, and I have certain obligations and I will ensure that I adhere to my obligation - I am committed to that.

“I must ensure that democracy must be always be in the forefront and democracy must always prevail. I have a responsibility, and I will not shun away from my responsibility.” 

Dr Minnis explained that sometimes difficult decisions will have to be made by the government. 

“I concentrate more on the future development and growth of the Bahamas. I do not concentrate on just what is today. Sometimes one (has) to make difficult decisions today so that you can have a better tomorrow,” he added. 

Although the economy in Grand Bahama is struggling and many residents are opposed to the increase in VAT, Dr Minnis said that the Bahamas is poised for 2.5 percent growth, and many projects are coming on stream very soon in Grand Bahama. 

“We made some decisions that we think would be better for the Bahamas. You see what is happening in Barbados, and I have said and I will repeat again, I don’t want to leave a Bahamas behind where the future prime minister on his first day in office must call some international financial agency for rescue - that is not fair to any future government.

“And, it is my job to place the Bahamas in the best possible footing for future generations, and I will do that,” Dr Minnis said. 

The prime minister said that he is committed to the success of Grand Bahama.  

“My commitment to Grand Bahama has always been there and will continue to be there,” he said. “I will outline some of the successes of Grand Bahama. We will announce very soon the success with West End project which will be great for Grand Bahama, and others will move along quickly and elevate the economy here in Grand Bahama. 

“I always said that Grand Bahama has been the headwind and it is essential for us to concentrate on Grand Bahama. My energies will be focused on Grand Bahama to ensure that it is successful. Once Grand Bahama is successful, the Bahamas is successful.

“That is why we are moving toward this tech hub, a new branch of the economy that is the future of the world, and the Bahamas must be allowed for the future. We will continue to push Grand Bahama to be the technology hub of this region,” he said.

Comments

Telllikeitis 1 year, 7 months ago

It was also your duty to RESIGN after you LIED to parliament about the Oban deal...you disingenuous, duplicitous hypocrite!!!!

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Greentea 1 year, 7 months ago

It was also your duty to fire the speaker.... It was also your duty to meet with farmers rather than run away It was also your duty to resign after the Oban scandal So we already know that you regard as your duty is selective so nig please

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proudloudandfnm 1 year, 7 months ago

You have not a damned thing to help Freeport recover from the worst depression the Bahamas has ever seen. Not one thing. Then you raise taxes on us as ifnwe can afford them. Then you fire the only true patriotic Bahamians in your party for doing the right thing.

You are fast becoming the worst PM....

Perry need no longer worry....

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spoitier 1 year, 7 months ago

Even though that is the Westminster procedure, doesn't it sound hypocritical to say democracy should always be in the forefront? because the one of the most important part of democracy is to vote on an issue and if you are going to be penalize for it then it is not democratic. You might as well be communist and force to vote for Putin or suffer being poison or something. What is the difference?

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Greentea 1 year, 7 months ago

You asking Minnis this question? He can't tell you. Doesn't even understand how little sense he is making.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 7 months ago

What an incredibly dense and arrogant oaf we have as PM.

If Albert Einstein were alive today he would surely say that only two things are infinite: the universe and Hubert Minnis's stupidity.

Minnis must truly believe that, in politics, stupidity and dumbness are not a handicap.

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TalRussell 1 year, 7 months ago

Ma Comrades, what we have is a prime minister who is not as sticky adhering Westminster when he didn't do his duty to the House of Assembly to talk all he knew at the time about OBAN, and the "fake signature",...... It's a matter he could've, should've and can still be held in contempt for..... And, the Imperials PM and KP, still ain't telling Grand Bahamalanders - all the it was a sham from day one that the two should've had smarts enough notice all signs of it being from day one that is soon will be forced into revealing about OBAN.... Maybe even still being kept locked away away from their own red shirts cabinet colleagues. Ma Comrades, this Imperial governing leadership is goin' fall... just not sure if it be sooner than quicker?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 7 months ago

Both Minnis and Carl Bethel alike are being most untruthful in their self-serving interpretation of the rules under the Westminster parliamentary system of government. They wrongfully would have us believe the system does not allow for the exercise of discretion; hence we now hear, against the backdrop of the loud public backlash, their back-peddling lip-service talk about being open to reconciliation. Truth be told, Minnis's insatiable desire for the powers of a dictatorship blinded his ability to exercise sound discretion and common sense in the interest of the constituents represented by the four MPs he has (and no doubt will continue to) severely victimize.

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joeblow 1 year, 7 months ago

It is your duty to respect the wishes of the Bahamian people who did not want a VAT increase! Remember you were elected to SERVE them, not your personal agenda!

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BahamaPundit 1 year, 7 months ago

The problem is you were fraudulent from the beginning and used the phrase, "It's The People's Time." In truth, you are an old school majority rule politician that believes the people are your servants. You were a wolf in sheep's clothing. You swung us to get our vote. That is at the core of this matter: you lied about who you are. We voted for change from the majority rule "one man band" crew! We voted for consultation and transparency! You have lost our trust and will never get it back.

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geostorm 1 year, 7 months ago

Roc on Doc, focus on the vision.The vision is never clear to anyone other than the visionary. These people are just 'gonna' have to cry and complain for the next 4 years!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 7 months ago

I detect a note of cynicism in your post above which means you are likely either a foreigner or one of the few lucky Bahamians who has managed to migrate most their personal wealth to another country.

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Gotoutintime 1 year, 7 months ago

Any Bahamian who has not already "migrated his personal wealth to another country" is a dam fool!!

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John 1 year, 7 months ago

More taxes heaped on the backs of Bahamians whilst the National Debt skyrockets. And yet nothing is being done in the country. Everything is still falling apart. What and who is really behind all these tax increases and increasing debt? Is the tax money secretly leaving the country? And are the Web Shop boys being used as scapegoats? Do they really want to drain every single dollar out of The Bahamas and make it another Barbados or Brazil or Venezuela or even Germany? The way things appear seems like there are going to be more tax increases and budget deficits in the near future. Seems like the more they claim to be fixing the financial crisis, the worse it gets. Who wants control of every single dollar passing through this country ? Who is the puppet master?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 7 months ago

As you well know, the money laundering and other illegal activities of the web shop bosses you work for are 50% of our country's problem, while the remaining 50% of our problems are due to corrupt and/or incompetent politicians.

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DDK 1 year, 7 months ago

Sounds like your math is just about spot on!

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licks2 1 year, 7 months ago

What a bunch of predictable light weights. . . not one "pinch" of sense between them all. . .NO WONDER WE HAVE A RETARDED PM WHO . . .if the people here are any example of what is in the public. . .he is still top of the heap!! But get me right. . .he is lil "slow" on his feet. . .but he is a lion in how he manage business. Hell. . .we had three "sharp" PMs. . .look where it got us!!

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DDK 1 year, 7 months ago

Says you. I say selective righteousness! Don't know what kind of sensometer you have........

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bogart 1 year, 7 months ago

Any governing party when trying to implement the budget not only should look at the numbers for the GDP but also the numbers for the GDH....gross domestic happiness. Somewhere in the next years given results projections, variables there should be ...relief to enable any governing party to continue their reign....

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Chucky 1 year, 7 months ago

Party discipline and Democracy are not only two different things, but they are also quite conflicting.

If Minnis truly supports the idea of democracy than he would have had to go against tradition and allow dissention in the vote. While it's true that with enough dissention / votes against the budget brings confidence in government into question; it is at that point that members voting in representation of their constituents that brings democracy to action and to life.

To try and prevent this via party discipline is the equivalent of denying democracy its voice.

The only question to ponder, if one is a believer in democracy, is the question of how well the members understand the will of their constituents, and if they vote accordingly.

The collapse of a governing party, due to the members votes in accordance with their "constituents will", and resulting the "loss of confidence", is perhaps the best case scenario in a democracy. If nothing else it brings about change , when it is needed most.

I challenge Dr Minnis to explain and prove me wrong. Trust me, he can't, and he doesn't have the fortitude to face a real challenge.

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Honestman 1 year, 7 months ago

I am willing to bet that the Government's projected VAT revenue is overstated. Take the top local restaurants for example. How much turnover are they going to lose as potential customers contemplate whether to have a home cooked meal and a bottle of wine with friends as opposed to $50 plus 15% plus 12% for a main course? This type of decision making will be widespread across many non-essential business sectors. The move to 12 % was too much at once.

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Aegeaon 1 year, 7 months ago

Good grief. Can someone from the UK House of Parliament tell Minnis that he's making a mockery out of a system? It doesn't make any sense to fire others for having a difference in opinion.

Someone yet again, bricks democracy.

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OMG 1 year, 7 months ago

Yes but did Christie have the balls to fire anyone---Fitzgerald for starters.?

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John 1 year, 7 months ago

Minnis trying to imitate Trump and be an International jackass. At least Tryis able to rebound each time so far. The difference is Trump inherited a very strong and rebounding economy from Barak Obama. So Trump could afford to play like he head jam. I still have hopes for Minnis else I have to go Loretta Butler slap me for being hoodwinked and bamboozled.

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TalRussell 1 year, 7 months ago

The four "Independent Thought" comrade red shirt MP's - done making Minnis, KP and Carl Wilshire - 65.3% crack..... Brent been pretty quiet.

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 7 months ago

The Bahamian Government cannot continue to cherry-pick aspects of the Westminster system that suits this despotic Executive system that we have ...... thanks to Pindling in 1973.

It is so bastardized that the Queen would not recognize this as anything resembling governance in Britain ........... I suppose this is what "potcake" constitutional democracy looks like.

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TalRussell 1 year, 7 months ago

Ma Comrade sheep12, heads up. Just this morning i was on phone with my intelligence sources other side pond - strangely they asked if I could secure picture Sheeprunner12... so, if you hears knock at front door and you asks - who's there and get.....Bond, James Bond on Her Majesty's Service... live up your blogging Handle -grab ya bananas and run to hide in closet... no time leave note ya girlfriend, or if so inclined - boyfriend.

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 7 months ago

Tal ........ I just love your sense of humour!!!!!

Our State salute should read ........... RuleMrPM ........Rule!!!!!!!!!

We have in effect accepted a system of limited and autocratic democracy under the disguise that these "party candidates" truly represent the citizens ........ when in effect they must show obeisance to the Almighty PM and the Queen.

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TalRussell 1 year, 7 months ago

Comrade, do you know that dramatic is one three kinds irony - and it occurred when the then bible quoting PLP MP Renward- the signatory $600 million Letter Of Intent - rose up on floor House of Assembly (HOA) to challenge the same PM who had appointed him Parliamentary Secretary - to oppose PLP's Referendum Bill while quoting biblical scriptures....... Now, the same Renward - is the red shirts in charge disciplining red HOA MP's to toe the red party's colonial line. ( I couldn't make this up - that is except if Renward had ordered HOA Sargent-at-arms to arrest the four red MP's }.

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