Campaign Finance Another Empty Promise, Says Davis

PLP leader Philip Davis. (File photo)

PLP leader Philip Davis. (File photo)


Tribune Staff Reporter


PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis' "vague" commitment to campaign finance law is the latest sign his party's election victory was built on "empty promises and political expediency," Opposition Leader Philip "Brave" Davis said yesterday.

After Dr Minnis rushed with the Saxons Superstars in Wednesday's Junkanoo Parade, reporters asked him about campaign finance legislation which was a major promise of the FNM in the lead-up to the 2017 general election.

"I got seven more years," he replied. "We're working on it. What I am concentrating on now is to close that gap in income inequality and to allow more to share in the wealth."

Not bringing campaign finance legislation before the next election would be irresponsible of the government, Mr Davis said.

"Again this demonstrates and shows what their campaign was all about," he said. "That he's saying we have seven years in which to bring the legislation speaks to his hypocrisy and his true ways. It shows his presumptuousness as well. Every time they open their mouth you really can't listen to what they say, just watch they do. What could you believe coming from them at this point?"

The Nassau Guardian reported yesterday the administration is unlikely to fulfil its fixed election date pledge this term, according to Attorney General Carl Bethel who spoke about the need for a referendum. In May 2018, Mr Bethel told The Tribune public consultation on bills establishing term limits for prime ministers and a fixed date for elections would begin before the end of that year but that never happened.

"These are low hanging fruits," Mr Davis said. "You don't need nothing complicated or great hurdles to cross but again, as is typical, they had a campaign about things they thought people wanted to hear to get elected, they didn't truly want to implement transformative policies."

Yesterday Matt Aubry, executive director of the Organization for Responsible Governance, said Dr Minnis' answer to reporters "seems very non-committal".

"Unfortunately it speaks to the fact that it doesn't seem to be a priority," he said.

Good governance reforms were central to the FNM's 2017 election run but the party has fully implemented few such promises since winning the election.

Mr Aubry said: "There are a number of priorities we have been calling for that speak to the fundamental transparency and openness of the government, the Integrity Commission Bill, full Freedom of Information Act enactment, issues like public procurement and campaign finance which open up the door toward restoring public trust in government, all of which are in critical need. It needs to be taken seriously that these are not to be cast aside but addressed. Seven years is way too loose a timeline to say when these things will get done. We saw some movement on fiscal responsibility and FOIA but it's now been over 800 days since the Ombudsman and Integrity Commission bills were tabled with no movement has happened since then and there is no clarity on when movement will occur. The Integrity Commission Bill, for instance, includes a revamp of a public disclosure law which would speak clearly to our interests and establish an independent body that would vet allegations so we don't see even a hint of partisanship, be they real or imagined, in the cases."


The_Oracle 1 year, 1 month ago

To what end is Campaign Finance Legislation or reform if neither party follows the rules? Seems the new way to fleece the treasury is to enter into leases with Government in the hope the next party will cancel! If you can't steal it, might as well sue for it!


Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 1 month ago

And our corrupt judicial system is only too willing to accommodate such big time fraud perpetrated against the Bahamian people by our corrupt governments for the benefit of their politically-connected cronies.


BahamaPundit 1 year, 1 month ago

Minnis is playing a game of chicken with the Bahamian people. The headlines should read, "Minnis Mocks Bahamian People!" This callous, thick healed, man cares nothing about his promises to The Bahamian people. Without Campaign Finance Laws The Bahamas is DEAD. There is nothing more important for The Bahamas. Nothing. Without Campaign Finance Laws any politician can be "legally" bribed at any time under the guise of a campaign contribution. Giving a briefcase full of cash to a politician in The Bahamas is completely legal under this system. Minnis was elected to change this system of corruption. His refusal to do so reveals him to be an enemy of The Bahamas and its people.


bogart 1 year, 1 month ago

Passing of the Campaign Finance should be known by the Opposition leader to have been by overtakin an passed by events.

Some $500M to some$200M annually in corruption and who get jailed? Ferreigner influence peddler bin throwing parties while the piece of beachfromt property doubled in size without lawful permission and after decade? Still aint noone in jail. Recent alleged charges involving politicians an money cleaning contract, an shingles been on an on and noone ever found guilty, Sooooo whats da big deal when entire public done know what time a day it ain't likely gettin or finding anyone guilty....an like sooooo when last taxpayer paying salary Mr. Laroda even manage after years to find out an do audits on politicians anmual assets...?????

So why Opposition leader can't deduce it from sitting across the Peoples Parliament table that if yinna cant find anyone guilty why waste ink and paper an wasting salaries talking air the entire public done know noone is ever find guilty all dese years.


Sign in to comment