PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis. (File photo)
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
PRIME Minister Philip Davis yesterday chided his predecessor at Parliament saying the Killarney MP did not travel on the country’s behalf because he could not speak to people and lacked the self confidence to appeal to world leaders.
The Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP’s blistering remarks came in response to Dr Minnis’ criticism that was directed at the number of times Mr Davis has travelled abroad since taking office.
In his remarks to members of Parliament yesterday, Dr Minnis said in his view, Mr Davis had been gone from the country for two months out of the eight that his administration had been in office.
Dr Minnis told members that at this rate, he estimated Mr Davis’ travel would amount to a one-year absence from the country by the time the administration reached its five year mark.
He was of the view that there were many pressing matters in the country that required Mr Davis’ presence.
When he stood to rebut the comments, Mr Davis said whenever he travelled he did so on “the people’s business”.
He also dismissed a previous assertion that the travel had come at the expense of taxpayers so that he could see the world.
“I’m happy to report that the standing of this country as a result of my traveling has been reset,” Mr Davis said in the lower chamber.
“They didn’t know (about) The Bahamas anymore and I don’t want to speak to some of the embarrassing encounters, but I can safely say that when I travel, I travel on the people’s business.
“Seeing the world? I’ve seen the world. I ain’t just reach. I’ve been there and done that.”
He also said: “When he travelled he’s talking about how corrupt the country was, remember? He didn’t go over there to talk about how we get into the geopolitical affairs of this world and how we could benefit and how we could stand up to the world to ensure that what’s for us, is for us and what we need to get, we ought to get.
“And to let the world know the state of our vulnerabilities and responsibility that the world has to respond to those vulnerabilities. You ain’t gonna do that sitting in the chair here.
“You ain’t travel because you couldn’t speak to people. You were afraid you didn’t have the confidence in yourself to talk to world leaders and to talk to people and put the case for the Bahamian people,” Mr Davis quipped.
Dr Minnis responded saying: “(It is) very difficult for the pot to be calling the kettle black, so may I proceed? There are such things as deflection and I won’t be deflected, not today.”
The Davis administration since taking office has been criticised, mainly in the political arena, for their frequency of travelling.
Most notably there was a wave of criticism over the administration’s decision to attend Expo 2020 in Dubai back in January. The trip saw more than 100 people attend.
There was also criticism over the decision to send a delegation to COP 26, a climate change conference held in Glasgow, Scotland, last year.
The prime minister has also travelled abroad in addition to these trips.
However, the administration has maintained that it is vital for The Bahamas to make representations internationally to advance the country’s cause.