NASSAU — Prime Minister Perry Christie indicated last night that he will not disclose any donors to his party’s recent election campaign.
Christie also denied accusations that he is pushing through the gambling referendum to pay back web shop bosses alleged to have funded the campaign.
Speaking at a press conference at the Cabinet Office, Christie noted that donors to political campaigns expect anonymity.
He said no one has given the government money to influence the outcome of the upcoming gambling referendum.
However, it is unclear if any numbers houses donated to the Progressive Liberal Party ahead of its general election campaign or the recent North Abaco by-election.
Christie said he did not want to disclose the identities of party donors and explained that in the absence of campaign finance reform, donors expect anonymity.
The prime minister said if his administration wanted to legalize the web shop industry as a pay back to special interests groups, it would not have called a referendum where the government has no control over the results of the vote.
“If the PLP and the government [were] acting in response to a wish on behalf of the people who donated money to it to bring out a desired result, we would go out and produce that result,” he said while flanked by his Cabinet colleagues.
“But interestingly enough, we said that in fairness to the people of this country we would not put the whip on our people, we would allow people to have an unfettered right to answer the questions that are asked.
“Oftentimes when people say ‘you got money from this one and that one,’ I say we have a tradition in our country where if ‘X’ gives us money or ‘Y’ gives us money we don’t disclose that,” he said.
“I feel that I would be making a mistake, for example, to get caught up in something where people who make donations to you do not expect you to expose those donations, even though the implication would be that I’m having something to hide.”
Christie stressed that the government’s hands were clean on the referendum issue. (Nassau Guardian)