PM dismisses early election claims

PM dismisses early election claims

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday shot down suggestions from the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) on an early election, saying he was given a mandate for five years and his administration will “follow through on that”.

Last week, PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell said the Bahamian people should be prepared for an election in six months and in preparation, the PLP plans to complete its slate of candidates for the general election by the beginning of next month.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. (FILE PHOTO)

In a recent interview with reporters on Eleuthera, Minnis said: “I was given a mandate for five years and we’re trying our best to follow through on that.

“But if the PLP followed my history, even as opposition, they would know that I’ve always commenced preparation at least two years in advance.”

According to Mitchell, “private intelligence” leads the PLP to believe the Free National Movement (FNM) is readying its campaign.

The PLP chairman also suggested the prime minister was using the ongoing pandemic to “campaign up and down the country” and will seek to tout it as part of the FNM’s campaign.

But Minnis also dismissed that comment.

“When we came into government, we made a commitment and a promise that we would through all the various Family Islands and constituencies, informing them as to what is happening, especially if they’re new events.

“We wanted to engage all Family Islanders because they contribute also to the national revenue and it is essential that they know exactly how their money is being spent.

“We made that commitment and we kept that commitment, and that’s why if you check the records, you’d see that from day one I’ve been moving from each and every Family Island.”

The last general election was held on May 10, 2017.

The next election has to be held by May 2022.

The prime minister has the sole discretion to set the election date.

In a separate interview yesterday, FNM Chairman Carl Culmer said the party deserves another opportunity to govern The Bahamas and to roll out its planned agenda for the Bahamian people.

“I will borrow some words from one of the opposition members, Leslie Miller,” Culmer said.

“Leslie Miller said there is no government that could have done a better job than his present administration.

“So, if Leslie could see that as a PLP, I would join hands with him and say: ‘Hey, I am satisfied that the government has done better than most governments down south, up north and also in Europe.’”