NASSAU – Making it clear that his administration “never claimed to be perfect,” Prime Minister Perry Christie is confident that voters across the country will look past unflagging issues of high unemployment and crime to return the Progressive Liberal Party to office.
Christie told crowds of supporters at a mini-rally in Marathon on Saturday that notwithstanding challenges, his government never stopped providing opportunities for Bahamians and remained the “best investment” in the country’s future.
His comments come as parliamentarians prepare for the dissolution of Parliament on Tuesday, April 11, and the end of the government’s legislative agenda.
“We know that there are those of you who are looking for jobs,” he said, “who are looking for security, and who feel that more could have been done. We have never claimed to be perfect but I tell you this, we have never stopped working and providing opportunities for the people of this country.
“And I have no doubt whatsoever that in the quietude of your homes when you think about it, you know if you’re going to make an investment in your future, the best investment you can make is in the PLP.”
Christie maintained his government’s record investment in education, and development of the Family Islands.
“Those who want their children or grandchildren to be educated,” Christie said, “they must know, and if they don’t know, we have to tell them that at no time in the history of this country has more been done to lay the basis of the best possible education for our children.”
Christie continued: “We live in a country that is spread over 100,000 square miles of water. People live through these islands they have come to expect that their government would show that they are aware of their needs.
“At no time in the history of this country have you had a government that has done more on all the islands together in the history of this country than my Progressive Liberal Party. We want to thank the birthday boy for an incredible job that he has done in the field of education in securing the future for our children.
“So when people have to make a choice when they ask themselves who they should vote for, look at the record. Look at the record and then when they look to the future and the challenges that will be in front of this country they must ask themselves, one by one as they examine the candidates in this general election, which party has put up the team that is the best team.
“I have no doubt that your Progressive Liberal Party has the best team.”
The mini-rally marked the birthday of Marathon MP Jerome Fitzgerald, and the continuity of government jobs and projects was a central theme for most of the candidates that took to the stage at Claridge Park to energise their party’s base and elicit support for ground campaigns.
Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell remarked that area residents have approached him about the cessation of government job programmes. Making a clear distinction between the former administration’s 52-week plan, and his party’s “empowerment programme,” Mr Mitchell said there would be nothing to worry about if the PLP were re-elected.
“You’ve been hired by the government and the only way that will change is if you elect the FNM to be the government. What you need to do on Election Day is make sure the PLP is the government and then you don’t have to worry about losing no job.
“Last year, the PM announced that 3,500 public servants would go on the permanent and pensionable and that is happening right now as we speak. So the only thing you have to worry about is if the FNM takes over in May.
“If you vote PLP you don’t have to worry about whether you’re going to lose your job after election, so don’t come asking us what’s going to happen after Election Day. You have that power in your hands, vote PLP, you don’t have to worry.”
Free Town candidate Wayne Munroe urged supporters to “keep the FNM out” if they wanted to ensure that the Urban Renewal 2.0 programme, and other community investments continue.
“If they want the government to continue to love them they should vote PLP,” Munroe said, “that is the only party that constantly shows its love for the people instead of things.”
For his part, Southern Shores MP Kenred Dorsett said: “This election is one of the most important elections in this country’s history if you want National Health Insurance vote PLP . . . if you want more jobs vote PLP.”