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Pintard and Minnis share their plans at competing events

BOTH incumbant FNM leader Michael Pintard (left) and former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis host events ahead of the Free National Movement’s one-day convention in June as they vie for the leadership of the party. Montage includes photos from different events. Photos: Dante Carrer/Tribune Staff

BOTH incumbant FNM leader Michael Pintard (left) and former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis host events ahead of the Free National Movement’s one-day convention in June as they vie for the leadership of the party. Montage includes photos from different events. Photos: Dante Carrer/Tribune Staff

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Chief Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE contenders for the Free National Movement’s top post held duelling events on Friday ahead of the party’s convention, discussing their plans and policies for the country.

Former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis hit familiar themes during his campaign launch at Baha Mar, describing the Davis administration as a “heartless” out-of-touch government while pledging more tax exemptions and investments in Bahamian youth if re-elected as prime minister.

During his meet and greet event at Breezes resort, FNM leader Michael Pintard promised more inclusive and progressive leadership if he is returned to the top position, saying the country needs a problem-solving government that cares more about the people and not themselves.

Both events, which were held at the same time, attracted dozens, some of whom are not party delegates and, therefore, cannot vote in the June 1 convention.

Former Public Services Minister Brensil Rolle, a member of Dr Minnis’ cabinet, attended Mr Pintard’s event, as did FNM deputy leader Shanendon Cartwright and Senator Michela Barnett-Ellis, among others.

Dr Minnis’ campaign launch attracted former Health Minister Renward Wells, former Democratic National Alliance leader Branville McCartney and former Fort Charlotte MP Mark Humes.

Mr Wells said he supports Dr Minnis because he was an incredible opposition leader and an “even better prime minister.”

“He’s been tried, tested and proven through the most difficult circumstances and trying times in this country,” Mr Wells told The Tribune, “That’s why I’m here supporting the leadership I know is capable of leading a nation in peaceful times but is even better in leading a nation also in perilous times.”

Mr McCartney, who introduced Dr Minnis on stage, said he wants to see the former prime minister return to finish what he started.

Dr Minnis spoke about his administration’s various policies, from “creating the largest food programme in Bahamian history” to offering free education to qualified university students.

He pledged to create more transformative policies if re-elected as prime minister.

He said his first act as leader would be removing VAT from breadbasket items and medicine and introducing more tax exemptions on food products.

He also promised to review the country’s real property tax regime to ensure fair rates and to reform the country’s immigration policies to “aggressively deport all undocumented people”.

“Some of our islands and cays are facing overwhelming numbers of undocumented migrants,” he claimed. “A second Minnis administration would fully mobilise the police, the defence force and immigration department toward this national effort to get illegal immigrants under control.”

He said his government would regularise those “who have been here a long time” and deserve status.

“If chosen by FNMs to lead the Bahamian people again, we would push forth the people’s agenda,” he said.

“This prime minister just wants to collect as much money as possible through taxes so that this administration could give out contracts to people. This administration knows nothing about planning. I can say for certain that the only thing ‘Brave’ Davis knows how to plan is his next trip.”

Dr Minnis made no attacks on Mr Pintard, direct or otherwise, and kept his criticism for the Davis administration.

Meanwhile, Mr Pintard spoke about the type of leadership the FNM needed.

“We need leadership that is going to be collaborative, willing to work with others, even when they didn’t get along with, even when the person didn’t vote for,” he said.

“There is no member of this team I am not prepared to work with , but also, there’s no member of this team that I am prepared to shrink so that they can look taller. We have a duty. We have a duty to solve problems we’ve been kicking down the road forever.”

Highlighting the country’s social ills, Mr Pintard said the party needs to be passionate and humane enough “not to make every immigrant a tyrant” or give the impression that every problem in the country is immigration related.

“We also need a party that’s not like the PLP, who, on the other hand, will use immigration for political purposes or personal benefit,” he added.

“We represent the best choice. We want a government that will create employment, not by unemploying people on the other side. We are different than them.”

“We believe that when we spend your money, we should tell you why and how we’re spending it, that we don’t shine 60, 70 or 80 million dollars on public-private partnership agreements, and you don’t even know the interest rate.”

All party positions will be up for grabs at the FNM’s one-day convention.

Comments

birdiestrachan 1 month ago

The Fnm comptent liars doc raised VAT 60percent then took VAT off a few items flour cooking oil and items that benifited hotels restaurants fast food and bakeries the Plp built the collage of the Bahamas. COVID CAME OUT OF THE BOWELS of hell TRUMP AND DOC Were in charge who knows if they had hands it it all

TalRussell 1 month ago

And results are due on 1 June! ---- When questions arise as to the depths of shared genuine party loyalty by the mixed leadership candidates of Dr Minnis and "Reappearing Sidekick" Branville McCartney. --- Who the cap fits most amongst the convention redshirts' delegates', will the larger movement, get.** ---- Yes?

ExposedU2C 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Minnis is an arrogant, nasty, evil and cruel monster who has shown absolutely no shame or remorse for the thousands of people in our country who lost their lives due to his gross incompetence and tyrannical decisions made in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As I have said time and time again, Minnis has more blood on his hands than any other Bahamian in the history of our country and he exhibits all the symptoms of a seriously bi-polared demon who may as well have satanic horns protruding from his forehead.

The voters in Killarney really need to wake up and do the right thing by our nation come this next general election. No one should ever cast a vote for this most wicked and demonic monster going forward.

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