PLP takes exception to Freeport News Editorial

PLP takes exception to Freeport News Editorial
Progressive Liberal Party Chairman, Senator Fred Mitchell.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) on Monday took strong exception to an editorial that was recently published in the Freeport News, which claimed that the PLP’s brand in Grand Bahama is weak.

Yesterday, the PLP dismissed such reports at “patent nonsense”.

According to PLP Senator Fred Mitchell, The Freeport News would have no way of assessing the brand of the PLP, because the record shows that since the 2017 general election, it has generally had no interest in what the PLP does or says.

“As a result, our supporters tend to treat the Freeport News as a studied irrelevance, interested in self-serving and self-fulfilling prophecies,” the PLP Chairman said.

Mitchell also surmised that the Freeport News was setting up a contest on their front page between the PLP and the FNM, complete with pictures, in giant relief of prime minister Hubert Minnis and the PLP’s deputy leader Chester Cooper.

But Mitchell said, “the only thing is the contest was in the imagination of the Freeport News. Imagine the Freeport News comparing a PLP branch meeting with an island-wide FNM rally.”

Mitchell said if the PLP wanted to bring out its supporters in Grand Bahama, it could have, but none are interested at this present time.

“Just ask Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest what happened to him when PLPs booed him and left him speaking to empty chairs after last year’s Labour Day parade,” Mitchell said. “We have bigger fish to fry than setting up some petty contest of numbers at this point.”

The PLP Senator said what is important is that [health minister]Dr. Duane Sands and [national security minister] Marvin Dames are two ministers judicially condemned and they must resign or be dismissed.

Mitchell was once again reiterating a call that the Party has been making since early last month, following the February 1 acquittal of Frank Smith, a former Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) chairman under the PLP administration.

Smith was charged in 2017 with abusing his position as chairman of the Public Hospitals Authority after the award of a $516,000 contract to the virtual complainant, Barbara Hanna, the owner of Magic Touch Cleaning, to clean the critical care unit of Princess Margaret Hospital.

At the close of Smith’s trial, the judge, Joyann Ferguson-Pratt, called into question the ministers conduct in the matter.

The judge said there was not a scintilla of evidence that there was a meeting between Smith and Hanna prior to the awarding of the contract.

It was revealed during the course of the trial that Sands awarded a second contract of $1.8 million to Hanna, three months after Smith was charged.

The magistrate said the circumstances of the contract raised a “spectre of impropriety”.

It was also revealed that Dames met with Hanna before she made an official complaint to police.

Of that meeting, Ferguson-Pratt said it was “unorthodox, to say the least”.

Meanwhile, Mitchell said he wanted to assure that the PLP is working every day in Grand Bahama and across the country to defeat the FNM, adding that the PLP is united and focused in Grand Bahama and across the nation.

“Let’s leave the likes of the Freeport News to their devices and their illusions,” the PLP chairman said. “There is nothing the PLP can do to please them. The PLP can do nothing right.  They seek to sow the seeds of discord.

“It’s an old saying but I remind all PLPs of it: there are none so blind as those who will not see.”