NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Opposition Leader Dr Hubert Minnis, the outgoing leader of the Free National Movement, said yesterday that while the party is experiencing a “difficult moment”, it remains the better party for the nation.
Minnis said history will “judge us better than the present moment” during the FNM’s 50th-anniversary church service at New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Holmes Rock, Grand Bahama.
Reflecting on the FNM’s crushing defeat at the polls on May 10, the former prime minister said no one can extinguish the party’s “hopes and dreams” for a better Bahama or its plans to bring about a more equitable society.
“…We remain the better party for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” Minnis told FNMs.
“This is a difficult moment in our party,” Minnis said.
“But still, we have much to be proud of.
“History will judge us better than the present moment because we gave our all during COVID-19, the worst public health crisis in living memory.
“We made the University of The Bahamas and BTVI tuition-free. We expanded homeownership and access to Crown Land. We reduced the cost of land in east Grand Bahama by 50 percent.
“We reduced the homes in Bahamia subdivision by $20,000.
“We created the largest food program in Bahamian history.
“We provided $51.7 million in food assistance during the pandemic and at the height of the pandemic, 57,000 families were being assisted — that is more than 120,000 Bahamians were being assisted [with] food during this pandemic.
“The small business development center helped many Bahamians to reach for their dreams.
“We put in place concrete plans for the renewal of Grand Bahama.
He said in opposition the FNM will continue to “fight hard” for all developments in Grand Bahama, for economic and social relief, especially ongoing assistant as a result of Hurricane Dorian and the ongoing pandemic.
As to the timing of the snap election, Minnis said in order to manage certain “headwinds” that are coming, a new mandate was needed to manage them and make some “very, very difficult decisions”.
He said: “We were determined to obtain that mandate so we could make those difficult decisions and build a better country together.”
The former prime minister also touched on the ongoing pandemic.
He said while the country has experienced a lull in coronavirus cases, a look to Europe suggests that more waves of infections are coming.
“More waves, I repeat, more waves are very likely,” he said.
“As I did during our administration, I once again ask all Bahamians and eligible residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“The pandemic is not over. We are seeing waves throughout the world.”