FNM parliamentarians ‘still rockin’ with Doc’

FNM parliamentarians ‘still rockin’ with Doc’
Education minister Jeffrey Lloyd posted this photo to his Facebook page this morning.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis walked into the Lower House flanked by Free National Movement (FNM) parliamentarians in a display of solidarity ahead of today’s vote of no confidence in the House of Assembly.

Minnis and the cohort of MPs and senators walked from the Churchill Building to Parliament as a handful of FNM supporters cheered and waved signs that read “Still Rockin’ with Doc” – a nod to his election campaign slogan.

Parade bleachers have been erected in Parliament Square; however, barricades were erected on both sides of the street.

In Rawson Square, three Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) supporters jeered at Minnis as he passed, calling for his resignation.

One PLP supporter got into a war of words with a group of FNMs before police intervened.

Opposition Leader Philip Davis last week gave notice in Parliament of his intentions to move a resolution at the next sitting of the House.

The resolution centers on the government’s decision to lease the mall, which is partly owned by St Anne’s MP and former Cabinet minister Brent Symonette, for the relocation of the General Post Office.

In Parliament last week, Davis accused Minnis of “knowingly and deliberately” misleading Parliament on the controversial Town Centre Mall lease agreement.

The resolution centers on the government’s decision to lease the mall, which is partly owned by St Anne’s MP and former Cabinet minister Brent Symonette, for the relocation of the General Post Office.

The deal came under heightened scrutiny when Symonette stepped down from his Cabinet post in July, and revealed in an exit interview that Minnis called him to discuss the terms while he was out of the country on government business.

The government signed a five-year lease of is leasing 75,000 square feet of space for the “concessionary” rate of $12 per square foot or $900,000 a year. The landlords will bear the $3.5 million cost of renovating the building.

Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine, Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller, Bains and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson and Centreville MP Reece Chipman all voted against the resolution on the matter.

The four backbenchers said they could not support the decision, maintaining that the matter placed Symonette in a conflict of interest.