FNM 'trying to suppress free speech' at conclave

PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell. (File photo)

PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell. (File photo)


PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party chairman Fred Mitchell yesterday attacked the governing Free National Movement for trying to "punish and suppress free speech" at its two-day conclave on the weekend.

In a press statement Mr Mitchell critcised the conclave, claiming the party was trying to silence outspoken backbenchers in the face of "their poor performance in government".

Mr Mitchell said: "The press release by the FNM about their not-so-secret conclave reminds you of the line of poetry: what a web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

His comments came a day after the FMN released a press statement about the event, which was closed to the media and the public.

Mr Mitchell said: "The FNM's press release was laughable.

"Eighteen months after deceiving... their way into office, with a 60 percent tax hike on the backs of the Bahamian poor and a record of firing 3,500 poor people, shortchanging the nurses but fixing up their own minister of immigration with a fat contract, the FNM has a nerve.

"No amount of rewriting and revisionism at the not-so-secret conclave can disguise the rancour, intimidation and attempts to punish and suppress free speech that reportedly occurred at the conclave.

"It is shameful what the FNM's leaders attempted to do with their MPs. The whole purpose was to enforce a uniform public silence in the face of their poor performance in government," Mr Mitchell said.

The chairman said what the FNM does behind closed doors is solely their business but what is seen in the public is the government not being able to generate a good headline to save their lives.

"We see a government that is bungling its way from one crisis to the next," Mr Mitchell said. "In the meantime, The Bahamas and the Bahamian people suffer. All PLPs and people of goodwill must now work harder than ever to remove this unworthy, deceitful and untrustworthy FNM government from office."

According to the FNM's statement, at the event Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis renewed his pledge to improve his party's communications programme as he told party members his administration's mistakes were louder than its accomplishments.

Dr Minnis touted his party's achievements - such as lowering the deficit, a downtrend in crime and planned rejuvenation of Over-the-Hill communities - but said these positives are not being heard because of errors.

He also reportedly told parliamentarians in a closed session on Friday they must govern together because they were elected together.

"The people called for us, the FNM. They wanted us to rescue, restore, rebuild and revitalise our Bahamas. We won together so we must govern together," Dr Minnis told party members, according the FNM's statement.

The two-day conclave came on the heels of four dissenting FNM parliamentarians voting against a resolution for the government to rent the Town Centre Mall from Cabinet minister Brent Symonette and his brother.

The dissenting MPs - Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller, Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine, Centreville MP Reece Chipman and Bain and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson - also voted against the VAT hike earlier this year.

It has been reported two of the MPs gave an apology of sorts for critical comments they have made about the government.

However sources told The Tribune on Sunday the comments were not a direct apology.

"One of them apologised to the PM," the source said, "saying 'I'm sorry I may or may not have offended you personally.' Nobody apologised for voting (against the government). They just said sorry for offending in whatever way they may or may not have."

"It's not apologetic, they're not apologetic for their actions," another party member told The Tribune yesterday. "These are disloyal individuals. I wouldn't be surprised if they kick up whenever the mood is not right. If you say you're loyal to me, your loyalty ain't conditional."


ThisIsOurs 5 years, 6 months ago

"these are disloyal individuals. I wouldn't be surprised if they kick up whenever the mood is not right. If you say you're loyal to me, your loyalty ain't conditional."

I hope whoever made this statement above was made to be ashamed of themselves. The MPs loyalty is to the country not Dr Minnis who's proven that he's more than willing to devise ways to get his own way outside even the knowledge of his own cabinet ministers. Funny enough this is exactly how the rebel seven described his character to the Governor General, he makes decisions without consultation.

Where have these FNM 's heads gone to since the election?


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