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Okay folks, the race is on. There’s one thing to decide . . . WHO DO WE TRUST?

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced an early election yesterday after Governor General Sir C A Smith dissolved Parliament, a step he said is needed to ensure the next administration has the mandate to address the major economic and health challenges ahead.

The election, scheduled for September 16, will let voters render a verdict on the Minnis administration, which has faced such historic challenges as Hurricane Dorian and a pandemic.

“Your next government will have to make important decisions on rebuilding and renewing a post-COVID-19 Bahamas,” Dr Minnis said during a national address that came on the anniversary of his party's first election victory in 1992.

“As a result of our country reaching the goal of securing the vaccines we need, it is now time for the Bahamian people to choose who they want to lead them as we move toward vaccinating every Bahamian who wishes to be vaccinated. Your next government will have key decisions to make in enacting post-pandemic public health legislation. Your next government will have to make other key decisions to build on the robust economic growth started on our watch.”

Dr Minnis encouraged residents to continue following public health measures to curb COVID-19 cases.

His announcement comes as virus cases overwhelm the healthcare system, with one Accident & Emergency consultant saying this week that Princess Margaret Hospital is bursting at the seams and needs additional resources. It also comes as the Minnis administration faces pressure from various unions to address their concerns over benefits and gifts.

In a speech last night, Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip “Brave” Davis said the Minnis administration did not prepare well for the escalating COVID-19 crisis, adding: “Everywhere we look, we see chaos and collapse and crisis.”

“Our hospitals are stretched beyond capacity, affecting not just our ability to treat COVID patients but everyone else, too,” Mr Davis said.

“Our economy is stuck, with too many Bahamians still left out; for those lucky enough to have jobs, wages are often too low to keep up with the cost of living.

“We are seeing armed robberies in broad daylight, as desperation increases. The same handful of wealthy families keep getting wealthier, while the doors of opportunity are slammed shut to everyone else.

“In the midst of this suffering and tragedy, the government is asking you for a new mandate. They are asking you for a vote of confidence,” Mr Davis said.

Some global leaders have recently gone to the polls early despite rising COVID-19 cases and have also faced criticism for doing so: just this week Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an early election, and several Caribbean countries have done the same in the last year.

Buoyed by the Free National Movement’s internal approval rating polls which compare him favourably to Mr Davis, Dr Minnis has considered going early for some time now.

FNM insiders, however, acknowledge that a raging pandemic and elevated unemployment levels are unattractive circumstances to hold a general election. Privately, many in the party are apprehensive about the move though some appear convinced that holding out until May 2022 would be no better for the party’s political fortunes.

To win, the FNM must reverse an unfavourable trend for incumbent parties: none of them have won re-election since the FNM did so in 1997 under former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham. The last two elections, held amid double-digit unemployment rates, were not close: the PLP won 29 of 38 seats in 2012 and the FNM won 35 of 39 seats in 2017.

The stakes, meanwhile, could not be higher for Mr Davis who easily solidified power in the PLP after its near wipeout at the polls in 2017 despite the resistance of some in the general public to him. A former deputy prime minister and a major figure in the PLP for years, Mr Davis will enter the election with high name recognition and with much of the public’s opinions about him seemingly solidified, a fact his opponents will try to exploit.

“We have a blueprint for stabilising the country’s finances, providing immediate relief to the suffering, revolutionising education and training for the 21st century, diversifying the economy and creating opportunities across the country,” Mr Davis said yesterday.

Under the slogan “It’s About Your Future,” the FNM is expected to maintain a brisk rally schedule. It is unclear how their rallies will be held, but virtual rallies and drive-up events are currently under consideration. With a slogan “A New Day,” the PLP will hold virtual and drive-up rallies, with traditional rallies unlikely, according to PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell.

In addition to COVID-19 challenges and the ailing Bahamian economy, the next administration will face the significant challenge of arresting the country’s escalating debt, which is projected to top $10b at the end of this fiscal year.

Financial expert Gowon Bowe said yesterday that Bahamians should not take seriously any political party that claims raising taxes will not be up for consideration by the next administration.

“Our fiscal debt and our fiscal performance is going to be the first thing that has to be stabilised,” he said. “We’re going to have to make decisions in relation to that; that impacts other things but the reality is we are very quickly running into fiscal headwinds. We will have to present a very clear plan and that is going to mean taxation will follow, whatever form that is going to take. Now, more than any time in our history we need a very clear strategic direction.”

Police Commissioner Paul Rolle read a proclamation from the Governor General yesterday that said the new session of Parliament will be held on October 6, 2021 at 10am.

Comments

Cobalt 1 year, 1 month ago

Who do we trust??? We don’t trust anyone! The truth is, our political leaders have failed us and we as the Bahamian people have failed one other. We have failed in our personal endeavors, we have failed as citizens, and we have failed as a people. And that is why our governments continue to fail. Because it has been constructed with Bahamian people. But in this moment and at this time, it is NOT in the best interest of our country to place Brave Davis as PM. He is a proven failure decades long! He is a large part of why our country is in the mess that it’s in right now. As a people we must put our emotions aside and allow common sense and rational to prevail. While we may not like the temperament and policies of Dr. Minnis, he is our best option right now. If we place our country in the hands of Brave Davis and the old guard of the PLP I promise you that things will only get worst! If you wish to get a snap-shot into what our country would look like under Brave Davis, simply visit Cat Island.

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tell_it_like_it_is 1 year, 1 month ago

To be honest, neither Minnis or Brave are good choices. At the end of the day, we are screwed plain and simple!! SMH

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Cobalt 1 year, 1 month ago

So if we remove Dr. Minnis and replace him with Phillip Davis, what will that accomplish for us as a nation? Do we really believe things will become better or worst? Tread carefully Bahamas! Realize that this can get worst! A WHOLE lot worst!

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BahamasForBahamians 1 year, 1 month ago

We would've gotten rid of the worst PM in the history of the Commonwealth... An impressive accomplishment

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whatsup 1 year, 1 month ago

We need to do that...he is distracting we citizens with Elections and Covid while he gets HIS BILL PASSED.......STOP THAT BILL.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 1 month ago

They could have fixed that. Call a convention. They didnt

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

Who is the bigger Unca Tom?

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One 1 year, 1 month ago

The grass always seems greener on the other side. Elections just give us peasants the feeling of control. In actuality, it's a mechanism to control us. It releases the built-up frustration and resets our capacity while we give the "new" leader a chance. Then we allow the new leadership to blame the old leadership for current issues. Then eventually we don't accept the excuses anymore, a new election occurs and the cycle repeats.

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Twocent 1 year, 1 month ago

We have witnessed a change in narrative and though we have grown a marked distrust for the current government we know this….if they take away freedom of will, choice, in an experiment, they will have proved themselves to be liars and neo-nazis. Until that time we know one other thing…there are politicians we don’t want to elect because they have said they will undo what was secured in WWII with the Nuremberg code!

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B_I_D___ 1 year, 1 month ago

If we think Brave Davis is an acceptable alternative to lead this country we are in far worse shape than I feared...speaks volumes to our D- education.

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joeblow 1 year, 1 month ago

This is not about Minnis or "Brave", the rational thing to do is to not vote for any person who has "served" in any capacity in teh government or opposition for more than 10 years (MP, Senate etc). Let a new leader emerge out of what remains!

Politics should not be a career, but an opportunity for national service. When that time ends people should go back to their lives. Career politicians breed corruption and are the reason democracy is in tatters all over the world!

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JokeyJack 1 year, 1 month ago

Gotta love the way the headline pic seems to limit the choices of the ignorant Bahamian down to two. Tweedledum or Tweedledee.

https://www.coalitionofindependents.c...">https://www.coalitionofindependents.c...

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Emilio26 1 year, 1 month ago

JokeyJack I'm surprised none of these major media outlets like the Tribune and Nassau Guardian aren't mentioning DNA leader Arinthia Komolafe nor COI leader Lincoln Bain.

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g9822033 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm a political atheist and base my judgments on performance not party.

This administration has presided over 2 black swan events back to back. No administration would have had an easy time but it is my view that this one has done a respectable job - of course in retrospect some different decisions may have been made but that will always be the case.

I just hope our people remember the failed promises of the past and vote based on facts not feelings.

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bahamianson 1 year, 1 month ago

who do we trust? wow, that is the question of the century. all i can see is more taxes. it is quite daunting, actually.

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tribanon 1 year, 1 month ago

When voters go to the polls on September 16, there's really only one thing they must keep foremost in mind. A vote for the FNM candidate would be a vote for Minnis's plan to transform The Bahamas into a totalitarian police state in which the Bahamian populace would have most of their most basic rights and freedoms stripped away. Minnis would then have absolute say over every aspect of your life. And that is by far the single most important thing to fear.

Vote for an independent candidate if you are able to do so and never lose sight of the fact that Minnis has already emphatically proven that he is by far the greatest of all evils facing our country today.

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Emilio26 1 year, 1 month ago

I really hope Arinthia Komolafe and Lincoln bain win their seats.

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JokeyJack 1 year, 1 month ago

They are not same Party. The problem Arinthia has is thst the Chairman (woman actually) of COI is running for her same seat. One of them has to msje a deal for Senate appointment. Cant afford to split the vote.

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KapunkleUp 1 year, 1 month ago

So our choice is between herpes and syphilis...

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

Felt the same Way about Trump and Biden… still do!

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WETHEPEOPLE 1 year, 1 month ago

The choice is between a power stricken man who looks to remove freedoms whiles having to give no account for his actions. PM refuses to answer questions by the press, refuses to disclose who received what in terms of contracting. This is the problem i have with Minnis, he feels as though he is beyond reproach, thus having to give no accountability. When he came into power, he came riding on the white horse of transparency, but when has this government ever been transparent. If he is allowed to govern for the next five years, we will be royaly phucked. Power corrupts! I dont know what Brave will bring us, but i have already seen Minnis agenda. Dont let another five years go by with no growth, no job creation, a stagnant if not distressed economy. We gave Minnis a chance, its time to give Brave a chance, and to hold him and his entire government accountable should then win.

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JokeyJack 1 year, 1 month ago

How can you hold Brave accountable. Please understand there is a such thing as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of which the leader of the opposition is the Chairman (Brave). There has been no meeting of this committee in many years. This is why Reece resigned as a member long time and eventually from the FNM itself. Everybody asking where monies have gone. The man who can answer is Brave, but he refuses a meetng. But yall go ahead and put the same yellow people we just throw out last week back in charge next week. You see why so many people think Bahamians stupid?

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K4C 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm one of those older Bahamians, back in the day we'd say, one is worse and one is worser than the other

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JokeyJack 1 year, 1 month ago

Yep, but lucky now you have a 3rd choice in COI

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K4C 1 year, 1 month ago

As the great world orator Mike Tyson said

the COI will fade into Bolivian

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whatsup 1 year, 1 month ago

Don't be distracted Bahamians with Covid and Elections...STOP THAT BILL

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tribanon 1 year, 1 month ago

Bingo!

Give us liberty, or give us death.

Our ancestors fought long and hard to break the chains of slavery and we must make sure Minnis does not get the opportunity to put us back in chains. That would be a fate worse than death.

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DDK 1 year, 1 month ago

WE TRUST NEITHER, NOT ONE LITTLE BIT. WE ARE IN DEEP DOO DOO!

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killemwitdakno 1 year, 1 month ago

..feels like my personal vaccine decision, to go with the doc or to ride the wave brave. who knows what that undertaker mortician might mean.

what a pickle

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Emac 1 year, 1 month ago

The Bahamian people now finds themselves in a very difficult situation. Formal education will be the deciding factor here. We are in the middle of the worst health crisis that the world has ever seen. The Bahamas is not doing well because of a number of reasons. But ultimately, If ya didn't pay any attention to science in school, then dog eat ya lunch!

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TalRussell 1 year, 1 month ago

There remains zero which either the two man's campaign strategists can say or do to repair over the remaining 27 days before the polling stations begin opening that could possibly patch holes of the two's — leaky in da deficit trust issues with voters. — Undoubtedly, this election will be like — none before.— Somehow, come September 16 Election Day — voters will cover their faces in doubt — cause it is only they, and they alone — who are left to figure this mess out — but It — will not be decided by the popoular vote margin of victory.** — Let all eligible to vote to be engaged over the 28 days in much thought, reflection, and prayerful deliberations — Yes?

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

Whether you believe it or not, this election has been decided. Now the formalities to make it legal where the decision has been made for you. Stay woke up!

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mandela 1 year, 1 month ago

Well I know one thing Alfred Sears has Farrington Rd on lock, Drumco Archer will be drummed away.

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JokeyJack 1 year, 1 month ago

People there are fool enough to vote for Sears when he refused to stand up to the Party when they would not allow him to address the delegates at convention before the leadership vote? He could have stood up, but didn't.

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Cobalt 1 year, 1 month ago

Okay foolish Bahamians! Go right ahead and vote for Brave and the PLP and see what happens! Y’all stupid jack-asses are about to “jump out of the pot right into the fire”! And when the wailing and complaining starts, I’m going to laugh at ALL y’all fools! Bunch of illiterate, non-thinking, dummies is what you are. Y’all are going to get exactly what y’all want and deserve.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 1 month ago

Wow that's exactly what tribanon and Tal said about Minnis in 2017

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tribanon 1 year, 1 month ago

I don't think I used those exact words. But I do remember being extremely disappointed that so many Bahamians voted in May 2017 knowing only the Minnis that Minnis wanted them to know rather than knowing the real very different and evil Minnis that I even then knew only too well.

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TalRussell 1 year, 1 month ago

Comrade Sir Stafford's badly incorrect election day predictions should be a lesson well taught that — no mortal man's, knoweth more about how to — misjudge what eligible, voting, Voters goin' do when time affix their Xs. — Sir Stafford's, misreading of Voters, puts a lie to the - 10 January 1967's — attempt strike fear in Voters — and that casting votes against all-powerful governing UBP — is seen as pointless. — Yes, even the most poverty-stricken knoweth the equally as high to the richest value of a single vote — but it must not be left unexercised, — It must be cast, — yes?

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The_Oracle 1 year, 1 month ago

The failures are numerous, and repeated.

1, the Bahamian people have failed, insofar as we vote for and accept empty promises, and zero results. Pure Tribalism, personality driven.

2, the Governments that issue empty and grandiose promises fail, and screw up numerous other things along the way.

3 We get what we elect. Garbage in, Garbage out.

4 Thank God it is only a one month run up.

I believe by default I am registered, but to what point? Get Jook or get Stab. Hell of a choice.

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One 1 year, 1 month ago

In God we trust.

These men and parties are two sides of the same coin. Same result different face.

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JokeyJack 1 year, 1 month ago

Correct. Thankfully those are not your only choices.

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JokeyJack 1 year, 1 month ago

Throw out the yellow people, put back in the yellow people. Throw out the red people, put back in the red people. Rinse and Repeat.

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licks2 1 year, 1 month ago

this is the trump and bieden election all over again. . .WE DON'T REALLY LIKE DOC. . .BUT HELL. . .BREAVE? FOR ME IT IS NO LONGER A QUESTION OF WHICH ONE TO PICK.!

IT IS A MATTER OF OUR FUTURE. . .IT MUST BE A NEW DAY!!!

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tribanon 1 year, 1 month ago

AS A REMINDER, Minnis has demonstrated over the past 4+ years that he is pure Kryptonite of the most destructive kind. He has proven himself to be a grossly incompetent failed leader who is hell-bent as an arrogant tyrant on transforming our nation into an authoritarian police state in which the vast majority of us would be stripped of the rights and freedoms that we hold so dear.

Whatever you do, don't make the unforgivable mistake of voting for a FNM candidate on September 16. If you can, vote for an independent candidate who has no known serious 'baggage'. But above all else, never lose sight of the fact that another Minnis led FNM administration would be by far the absolute worst of all possible outcomes for our nation.

Already it seems corrupt foreign investors, like the cruise ship companies, and the tourists that come to our shores enjoy more rights and freedoms in our country than we do. This madness must stop.

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BONEFISH 1 year, 1 month ago

Dr. Minnis is a disappointment to say the least. Arrogant, inept, dissmisive and incompetent. His saving grace is that Phillip Davis is problably worse than him. Like some one said to me, I am not a fan of Dr. Minnis but I just can not support Mr. Davis.

This is also one of the worse cabinets and group of parliamentarians ever. Their performance was simply mediocre at best. They have collectively made a series of bone-headed decisions. Like some one said to me ,Bahamians love power and politics. They do not understand governance nor management.

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