PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell.
By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Chairman Fred Mitchell yesterday said the government’s plans to extend the country’s state of emergency is a convenient way for Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis to “fight an election”.
Mr Mitchell’s comments came after Dr Minnis gave notice in the House of Assembly of his administration’s intention to extend the country’s state of emergency until May 23.
Senator Mitchell said that nothing has emerged which indicates the emergency measures should continue and people are now treating the protocols as a “nuisance”.
“You are manipulating people’s lives and also being able to manipulate more importantly the political process so that your opponents are bottled up,” he said.
“They can’t move around, but you have the right, the power and authority to move wherever you want in these circumstances because our view is it is clear the prime minister is preparing the country for an election.
“These orders are convenient for him to fight an election because you know he thinks that the opposition has one hand tied behind its back with these orders.”
The PLP has previously said it believes Dr Minnis will call an early election. Mr Mitchell has accused Dr Minnis of campaigning during the pandemic and believes a general election will be called before the next budget debate.
Recently Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Carl Culmer said Dr Minnis will not call an early election unless his party is ready for one.
Meanwhile, the PLP chairman also questioned the rationale behind extending the state of emergency.
“The concern is at this point the vaccination programme should have started. Question is, where are the vaccines? The last position we took was that we did not vote for the extension of the orders, so it doesn’t seem to us there’s any rationale for extending it. We’re convening a parliamentary meeting tomorrow to look at the details of what they are suggesting,” Mr Mitchell said.
“You know a lockdown and a curfew is not a plan. For example, the third wave has affected countries across the world. What is The Bahamas doing to prepare for that?”