NASSAU, BAHAMAS — PLP Tall Pines candidate-hopeful Leslie Miller believes the Free National Movement (FNM) cannot afford to pass campaign finance reform.
In an interview with Eyewitness News, Miller said the FNM party seeks to raise a “dray load of money” to hold onto power in the next general election.
Campaign finance was a election promise of the FNM’s leading up to the 2017 election.
According to the long-time politician, the FNM has had a “taste of power” and are prepared to go to great lengths to hold onto it.
“That ain’t ‘ga’ happen; can’t happen,” he told Eyewitness News.
“It’s not going to happen. The FNM is never going to bring legislation into play.
“They can’t afford to do it because they need the big money from Lyford Cay.
“They need the big money from Old Fort Bay.
“They need the big money from Eastern Road.
“They need the money from carnival and the rest of them.
”It can’t happen. There is too much at stake right now.
“The FNM is coming with a dray load of money, but you know who the people are going to vote for; the people who loved them and cared for them.
“Your record has to stand on its own two legs.”
It was pointed out that the last Christie administration, which Miller was a part of, promised and failed to deal with the issue of money and elections.
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis has said the opposition would support legislation to regulate campaign finances.
Asked whether he believe a Davis-led administration would address the issue if voted into office, Miller said: “That’s not my decision. I’ve never been in discussion on it, so I am not going to comment on it. But it is not going to happen this time because too much is at stake.”
He was also asked about the PLP election bid and the need build its war chest with campaign contributions.
“Yes, and as long as you have that desire [to win] you need to get that money, but again that is not my decision,” he said.
“That is the leadership’s decision.”
In January 2019, Attorney General Carl Bethel said the campaign finance bill was soon ready for public consultation.
That did not happen..
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis last addressed the issue at the 2020 New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade.
He reiterated his commitment to introducing the legislation, but declared that he has “seven more years” to put it in place and see it working.
He made a similar statement to reporters in December 2018.
The promise of the bill joins a growing list of unfulfilled campaign pledges.
This includes, gender equality reform, criminalizing marital rape, term limits for prime ministers, a fixed election date, and a sex offender’s register, among others.
However, the FNM has said it delivered on its promise to lead the country toward a stronger future with opportunities for all.