By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party chairman Fred Mitchell said former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis should “go quietly into the good night” after declaring his reasons for calling an early election.
On Sunday, the Killarney MP told those attending a Free National Movement Church service that he made the decision to call an early election recognising that tough times were coming for the country and his administration needed the mandate to make difficult decisions.
Dr Minnis said: “Many still ask the question why was the election called. We have some headwinds that are coming... In order to manage those headwinds that we see coming, it was essential to have a new mandate because very, very difficult decisions have to be made.
“We were determined to obtain that mandate so that we could make those difficult decisions and build a better country together.”
Contacted for comment, Mr Mitchell said this was not a matter for the Progressive Liberal Party to comment on, but Dr Minnis would have to live with knowing he is recorded in history as the only Prime Minister that did not last one full term in office.
“He sat in the chair and the Constitution gave him the authority,” Mr Mitchell said. “It turns out for him to have been a foolish decision because he goes down in history as the only prime minister and government that could not last one full term.”
“We are only now discovering the extent of the disaster Hubert Minnis and his colleagues were. The boasts of solving the problem of the pandemic were idle and a total failure. His was a classic case of Nero fiddling while Rome burned. We say too bad, too sad. His loss is a better future, a new day of opportunities for the Bahamian people. Dr Minnis should go quietly into the good night.”
The September election dealt a devastating blow to the FNM as the party only secured seven seats in Parliament, handing a landslide victory to the PLP.
After voting in the Killarney constituency, Dr Minnis responded to criticism that the early election was ill-timed as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would only say when is the best time?” Dr Minnis previously said.
“Canada called an election. (The) United States had an election. Jamaica had an election. Bermuda had an election, and a host of other countries had an election. The question that one should ask, let’s assume that we had waited until May, and we were still in the pandemic. Do you think the opposition would have allowed us to delay it until we came out of the pandemic?
“We say we need an extra six months to come out of the pandemic, you think they would?
“So, when is the right time?