FNM, PLP point fingers over alleged Nygard connections

FNM, PLP point fingers over alleged Nygard connections
Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard. (FILE PHOTO)

Both parties suggest the other received financing from fashion mogul

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Both the Free National Movement (FNM) and Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) are calling on each other’s leaders to address allegations of having connections to Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard, who was arrested on Monday for alleged sex crimes.

Nygard, a Canadian fashion designer and longtime Lyford Cay homeowner, was arrested in Winnipeg, Canada, after federal prosecutors accused him of a more than two-decades-long string of criminal conduct involving racketeering, sex trafficking and other crimes against women and minors.

In a statement issued last night, the FNM blasted the opposition PLP’s “troubling silence” over the matter.

The FNM said: “The PLP’s troubling silence to allegations regarding Peter Nygard sends a chilling message to all the young girls allegedly victimized by Nygard… The fact that Nygard was a chief financier to the PLP makes this all the more appalling and frightening.”

It added: “Simply being a top donor to a political party should not make anyone above the law.”

The “alleged victims deserve justice” and “the Bahamian people deserve leaders who will go after monsters who prey on our child”, the FNM said.

“In light of this stunning indictment and Nygard’s extensive donations to their party, Philip Brave Davis (PLP leader) and his PLP have a moral obligation to publicly address all their connections to Nygard and join the rest of the country in calling for justice to prevail for the innocent Bahamian victims the fashion designer allegedly preyed on.

“…Bahamians deserve to know their leaders will stand up for them and never turn a blind eye to allegations such as those in today’s indictment.”

However, PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell hit back at those comments in a statement today, in which he claimed the PLP “has nothing to do with” the Nygard matter and suggested the FNM was only seeking to distract the public from other matters.

“It is widely known that Peter Nygard, a foreign billionaire, contributed money to the FNM’s political campaign,” Mitchell said.

“This means that since the FNM is the government, they are the ones who have an obligation to address their connections to Mr Nygard and disassociate themselves from these criminal allegations.”

He added: “Each man is responsible for his own personal conduct. This applies to the ordinary citizen and certainly to Dr Hubert Minnis and his government.

“PLP has nothing whatever as a party to do with the fictions of the FNM with regard to this matter.”

Pointing to the country’s historic borrowing, current economic challenges and unemployment rate; the Grand Lucayan resort deal; the government’s handling of Hurricane Dorian in September 2019 as well as the current COVID-19 pandemic; and the controversial Oban Energies oil refinery deal, Mitchell slammed it as “pathetic” that “the best that Dr Minnis and company can talk about is Nygard as a distraction”.

This is not the first time the FNM has called on the PLP to address concerns regarding its alleged involvement with Nygard. But Davis has previously called allegations linking his party to Nygard as “mere scare tactics” while Mitchell dismissed them as a “wicked propaganda campaign”.