NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Former Prime Minister Perry Christie expressed confidence yesterday that Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis will not make the same mistakes of his predecessor.
He was referring to former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, who rejected Christie’s and former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham’s assistance following Hurricane Dorian.
Both former prime ministers offered to help in advisory and coordination roles in the recovery effort following the deadly storm, but Minnis overlooked them, appointing former Senate President Kay Forbes-Smith, former National Insurance Board Director Algernon Cargill and former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jack Thompson to lead the relief efforts as redevelopment coordinators.
“Prime ministers get into office and they determine the extent to which they will consult and with whom they will consult, and so, really it will depend entirely on Mr Davis because he knows, like many others, I am willing to assist him and willing to help if he deems that a proper thing to do or an appropriate thing to do,” Christie told the media.
“And so, I am sure he is not going to allow me to be sitting out there when I could of use to him and of help to him, in the way Dr Minnis allowed me and Hubert Ingraham to sit out there when we could have been a more effective tool for him to use without bringing politics in the matter.
Christie also cautioned Davis that there is “no honeymoon in politics”.
“My advice to him is this; keep his eye on his strategy,” the former prime minister.
“To know that he has four to five years to govern and he can have a very effective governance by implementing his strategies that he articulated today.
He added: “Keep your eyes on the prize my friend and the prize is strengthening our democracy, carrying out your program, bringing health to the nation, and in bringing health to the nation, your economy will prosper.”
Among the key challenges facing the nation, is the rate of joblessness.
Christie pointed out that this will be an important issue over Davis’ term and the government will have to create tens of thousands of jobs amid challenged times created by the record storm in 2019 and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to data provided by the Department of Statistics, the Christie administration created around 40,000 jobs in its 2002 term and around 39,000 in its 2012 term.
He said despite the job creation, it was “insufficient”.
“And so, it means that a government to have any success it that must find a way to have 50,000, 60,000, 70,000 in this country created,” Christie said.
He continued: “This government will be judged by what it does. And it begins now.”