Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.
By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has said he is not considering a snap election, stressing his government is focused on saving lives amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
His comment came during a press conference for a Heads of Agreement signing on Friday, when he was asked if he considered calling an early election like Jamaica had done recently.
“At this point in time our priority is saving Bahamian lives, and that’s what we are concentrating on at this particular time,” Dr Minnis said. “That is more important to us. Saving lives after which we want to deal with our economy to ensure that people are working and improve their quality of life.”
Last month, Progressive Liberal Party chairman Fred Mitchell said people should push for an early election, as he blamed Dr Minnis for chaos and panic shopping after the reversal of an immediate seven day lockdown in New Providence.
Mr Mitchell said the PLP has called for Dr Minnis’ resignation many times and recalled the PLP’s failed vote of no confidence in the Killarney MP last December.
“As late as this morning, we suggested, given the loss of confidence by the people, the only solution our system allows is to force a general election,” he said last month.
Mr Mitchell called on local talk show host Juan McCartney and others to “lead the social charge for the general election to be called.”
Earlier this year at a town meeting in Andros, PLP deputy leader, Chester Cooper also challenged the prime minister to call a snap election.
Mr Cooper said, “If the Prime Minister is so convinced he can carry every seat in the next election, then what is he waiting for? He should call the election now.
“If you believe you command the support of the people after raising their VAT; after failing them on jobs; after neglecting the Family Islands; after continually insulting and embarrassing the Bahamian people on the international stage; after failing Abaco and Grand Bahama after Dorian — then call the election now. “Call the election this summer and let’s see if the people still have confidence in you.”
The next general election is expected in 2022.