PM to address nation next month
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis will make a national address early in the New Year and plans to take Christmas greetings directly to the electorate while he travels throughout the Family Islands over the next couple of weeks, according to Press Secretary Anthony Newbold.
However, Newbold was unable to say if and when the prime minister will hold the promised quarterly press conferences, which have yet to take place more than a year and a half after the Minnis administration assumed office.
“He is going to most of them (Family Islands) next week and he will be traveling…,” Newbold said.
“The substantive national address will happen next month.”
During debate on the Business License (Amendment) (No.2) Bill in Parliament Wednesday, Dr. Minnis outlined some of his travel plans beginning next Monday with Crooked Island, Acklins and Mayaguana.
He said he will travel to Exuma next week Wednesday and Harbour Island next Thursday before heading to South Andros, Mangrove Cay, Central Andros and North Andros next Friday.
Additionally, Dr. Minnis said he will touch down in the Berry Islands and San Salvador next Saturday.
He also plans to visit Inagua sometime in January.
“At such time I will wish them all on behalf of myself and the government a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,” the prime minister said.
When asked about the purpose of these trips, Newbold said there was a dual purpose: to be with residents during the season and to update them on key national developments and policy decisions.
Shortly after the general election, Dr. Minnis engaged reporters at the National Emergency Management Agency and answered questions on a wide range of national issues, from crime to the promised forensic audits of government agencies and departments.
During his first press briefing as press secretary, Newbold said the prime minister will address the nation twice per year and would engage the media once per quarter at designated press conferences.
While the prime minister has fielded questions from the media on the sidelines of events in recent weeks, these brief interactions typically only facilitate a handful of questions before being cut short.
The prime minister often dismisses questions unrelated to press conferences.
During a press conference to mark Albany Bahamas’ donation to the government’s Over-the-Hill revitalization program at the Office of the Prime Minister in November, a reporter asked Dr. Minnis about his promised probe into matters related to Bahamas Power and Light and its former board.
He responded, “What that got to do with Over-the-Hill?”
When pressed on the matter, Dr. Minnis said, “I’m talking about Over-the-Hill today.
“Stop looking at those texts and stick to the script”.
The incident prompted renewed questions about Dr. Minnis’ promised quarterly press conferences.
Newbold recently said Dr. Minnis will hold the quarterly press briefing when he decides to.
He suggested that wherever the prime minister goes there is a press conference.