PLP Leader calls PM a hypocrite on campaign finance reform pledge

PLP Leader calls PM a hypocrite on campaign finance reform pledge
Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip Davis (file photo)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Phillip Davis yesterday called Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis a “hypocrite” over the track of campaign finance reform.

Minnis promised to introduce campaign finance reform during the 2017 general election campaign, but recently insisted he still had “seven more years” to do it.

If he said that’s what he’s going to do and now he’s not going to do it then what does that amount to,” Davis told reporters, during a press conference at the party’s headquarters.

“Suggesting a statement to swing the Bahamian people as they may have been done, is just hypocrisy.

“Seven years is also presumptuous. You presume that the Bahamian are so inured by him that they would vote for him again.

“I daresay, I don’t share that view.”

Speaking to reporters as he rushed during the 2020 New Year’s Junkanoo parade, Minnis was asked about his commitment to implement campaign finance reform before the end of this term.

“I have seven more years,” he said.

“We are working on it. What I am concentrating on now is to close that gap in income inequality and to allow more to share in the wealth.”

On Monday, Attorney General Carl Bethel revealed that a draft campaign finance bill proposes that a campaign donation exceeding $1,000 must be declared; every individual campaign and political party campaign will be required to have a finance officer; and candidates would have to declare to a parliamentary commissioner and be audited by an independent auditor.

In December 2018, the prime minister said legislation to regulate campaign finances will be implemented before the end of this term — a pledge he made on the campaign trail in the lead up to the 2017 general election.

Ahead of the last general election, there were claims that the Lyford Cay billionaire Louis Bacon indirectly funded the Free National Movement in an effort to destabilize the Christie administration.

Similarly, ahead of the 2012 election, there were allegations that billionaire Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygard gave millions of dollars to the Progressive Liberal Party to help the party win the election.