By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
THE Progressive Liberal Party has accused Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis of giving preferential treatment to the Myers Group by letting its restaurants remain open until 9pm while a general rule that businesses close by 8pm is in place.
Attorney General Carl Bethel told The Tribune yesterday that an order has been prepared allowing all restaurants to remain open until 9pm, but up to press time last night an order concerning this had not been released.
David Davis, the permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, signed a letter dated July 9, 2020 addressed to George Myers, the chairman and CEO of the Myers Group, which said: “I refer to your letter dated 3rd July, 2020, and in which you requested permission for your restaurant group (Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts and Anthony’s Caribbean Grill) to remain open until 9pm. Please be advised that the ‘competent authority,’ the Most Hon Prime Minister, has approved your request.”
PLP chairman Fred Mitchell said in response to the letter yesterday: “There is a letter making the rounds on social media where the competent authority approved an extension of operating hours to a number of fast food franchises owned by a single commercial entity. In our view this is par for the course with this administration given the selective manner in which the prime minister has consistently administered his government’s emergency orders.
“A certain liquor store could remain open while others were ordered closed. Certain restaurants could provide take out services while vendors on Arawak Cay and Montagu were denied this opportunity. It is clear that kisses go by favour in this administration.”
“The prime minister, competent authority, should simply allow all restaurants to extend their operating hours to 9pm. If the competent authority has determined that there is no additional public health risks associated with this approach, what rationale could he possibly give for denying all other restaurant owners the same opportunity?
“Again, like the PLP has said on multiple occasions, the applications of some of the orders are not evidence based, but are political favours resulting from political pressures.”