In a concession speech released by the FNM, outgoing Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has thanked Bahamians for the last four years:
“Tonight I spoke with Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party Philip Davis and offered my congratulations to him and his party on their victory at the polls,” Dr Minnis said.
“I offered him my best wishes as his Government now faces the continued fight against COVID-19, and the restoration of our economy.
“I would like to thank the tens of thousands of Bahamians from across The Bahamas who voted for Free National Movement candidates. I also congratulate the FNM candidates who won seats in the House of Assembly.
“I am in that number, and again my gratitude goes out to the people of Killarney for making me their representative for the fourth consecutive time.
“I will lead the Free National Movement into the House as the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. The Bahamas has a proud democratic tradition. The people decide who serves as government.
“Our party presented its vision for the future to Bahamians from the northern islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco, all the way to the southern islands of MICAL.
“The people determined that they preferred the Progressive Liberal Party. My party and I accept that result. We are proud of our record the past four-plus years.
“During our term we faced the most difficult times in Bahamian history. In September 2019, Abaco, the Abaco Cays and Grand Bahama were struck by the strongest storm to hit The Bahamas.
“Hurricane Dorian was one of the strongest storms recorded on our planet. It caused generational destruction to our northern islands. Six months later, we were in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Throughout each crisis my Government worked hard to assist the Bahamian people. On the northern islands we have had to rebuild roads, water systems, schools, docks, bridges and other critical infrastructure.
“In the pandemic, we provided tens of millions of dollars per month in food and unemployment benefits to citizens, along with tax credits to businesses. We fought hard to secure more than half a million doses of three of the best vaccines in the world.
“The FNM has a proud legacy. We have governed The Bahamas over four terms. Our philosophy is to use the resources of government to provide opportunity to those who have historically been without.
“That is why we invested in free preschool, providing early education to thousands of children. That is why we invested in free tertiary education at the University of The Bahamas and BTVI.
“That is why we created the Over-the-Hill initiative to benefit people in grassroots communities with tax concessions and development assistance. That is why we invested record amounts in Family Island infrastructure.
“That is why we created the Small Business Development Centre, extending millions of dollars to help Bahamians realize their dreams.
“Our belief in the Bahamian people was also evidenced in the manifesto we ran on in this election. We pledged a Universal School Meals Program, expanded access to afterschool programs, $250 million to Bahamian small businesses over five years, expanded access to Crown Land, support for the arts and agriculture and fisheries, along with many more policies for the people.
“We did not win this time. But I say to the next generation of FNMs that you should stay firm to this party’s founding ideals. Always put the people first, and be honest in government.
“The people have asked us to be the opposition. We will ensure the people’s resources are spent properly. We will ensure there is accountability. We will oppose when necessary. We will agree when the Government’s plans are in the best interests of the people.
“I thank my wife Patricia and my family for supporting me during this term, and throughout my life. I also thank the officers, members and supporters of the Free National Movement for their assistance and encouragement during my time as leader.
“And to the Bahamian people, I say a warm and heartfelt thank you for my time being your Prime Minister. You are a strong, hardworking and resilient people. Hurricane Dorian did not break you. The pandemic has not broken you.
“You trust in the God who has brought us this far. Trust that He will bring us further to brighter times. Again, thank you. And may God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”