PM to Cooper: “We will take your seat”

PM to Cooper: “We will take your seat”
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis tell parliamentarian during wrap-up of mid-year budget debate that the FNM has once again saved the nation from the PLP.

Minnis says PLP remains a “broken party, still smashed and battered”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis told Parliament the FNM had once again rescued The Bahamas from the “disastrous” governance of the “Christie, Davis administration”, as he wrapped up the mid-year budget debate on Monday.

Minnis reiterated his accusation that PLP Deputy Leader Chester Cooper double-crossed the Free National Movement (FNM) in the run up to the 2017 general election.

The prime minister explained Cooper, the MP for Ragged Island and Exuma, was given the nod to run on the FNM’s ticket in that constituency, but “double crossed” the party.

“With hard work and God’s guidance we have rescued The Bahamas from the calamity, the corruption and the disaster of the Christie, Davis, and — Ragged Island what’s your last name now; Cooper — Cooper-led government.”

Turning to Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest, Minnis said: “I am disappointed you know. He (Cooper) was supposed to run for us. He had the nod to be our representative in Exuma, and I was lying down in my bed and I saw him in a yellow jersey walking across.

“I said oh my God, what the hell is this? He double crossed me.

“We’ll still take you back. I know you want to come back. Your blood, your blood; Exuma and Ragged Island, I know that red runs through your veins. We still love you.

“We promise you we’d fix Ragged Island and we are doing that. We promised you we will give you a new airport and we are doing that.

“We promised you will give you new roadwork, road network and we are doing that. And finally, we promised you that we will take your seat and we will do that.”

Cooper, a political newcomer ahead of the last general election, was voted as deputy leader of the PLP in October 2017, besting Ricardo Smith.

Addressing the National Progressive Institute in June 2017, Cooper said the PLP lost the election because it “protected the interest of the party over the interest of the nation”, as he urged PLPs to make a “humble apology and repentance” to supporters and the electorate.

This month, Cooper said the PLP is ready to become the next government, as he pledged a PLP administration would revamp the economy, create more jobs, more opportunity and more ownership while putting “more money in more pockets”.

PLP Leader Brave Davis has also declared the worst is behind the party as he declared the “SS PLP is off the reef”.

On Monday, Minnis said the PLP remains a “broken party”.

“The PLP which is still smashed and battered from colliding with the reef of scandal and poor governance remains a broken party with past scandal seemingly exploding again,” Minnis said.

“Every time the FNM comes to office we have to rescue The Bahamas from the PLP. We have rescued our Bahamas and we are rebuilding it for the benefit of all Bahamians; not just an entitled PLP elite and their cronies. We are lifting all boats and building a fairer Bahamas.”

Minnis said: “Over the next two years we will continue to grow and to recover from the economic wasteland left by the Christie, Davis, Cooper administration. It is our privilege; it is my privilege to serve the people of The Bahamas.”

In the May 2017 election, the FNM won every seat in Grand Bahama and Abaco and the majority of seats in New Providence and the Family Islands.

The PLP retained four seats: Englerston; Mangrove Cay and South Andros; Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador; and Exuma and Ragged Island.

Minnis has previously indicated he has another seven years to govern.