June 4, 2024

Press Statement

Distracted Brave Davis commits $66 million budget error

Yet again, we find ourselves with an inattentive and ill-suited Prime Minister committing
yet another obvious error on statements related to public finances.

On this occasion, speaking to the current July to March performance of VAT collections
on realty transactions over $1 million during the budget statement, the Prime Minister
said the following:

“At the end of March 2024, we have only collected $15.1 million or 7.9 percent of the
[budgeted] total.”

The Prime Minister went on to explain that he and his Ministry of Finance were so
concerned with this underperformance that they took specific policy action to & “improve

The challenge is that budget statements presented in Parliament indicate a vastly
different outcome for that same nine-month period, from June to March. On page 9 of
the budget estimates, the results for that period show an intake of $81.4 million for that
category of VAT receipts, not $15.1 million as stated by the Prime Minister.

This is not a small typo or editing error; It’s a $66 million budgetary mistake.

Which one did the Prime Minister get wrong; The revenue numbers in the budget
statement, or the revenue numbers in the budget book? Inquiring minds want to know.

We recall that early in 2023, the Prime Minister was forced to apologize to the Nassau
Guardian when he apparently did not understand that the newspaper had accurately
reported what he said about his government’s increased fiscal deficit for the related
period. Confusion has become the norm under Davis; distracted leadership.

We have long called for the Prime Minister to slow down on his globetrotting and spend
some time focusing on work here at home. He is paid to execute his job as the Minister
of Finance, but his priorities are obviously elsewhere. If he has no intentions of cutting
back on his beloved travel agenda, he should consider appointing a full-time Minister of
Finance who will not embarrass the government and the country with repeated gaffes
on critical fiscal matters.

A Minister of Finance who cannot get the numbers correct is inexcusable.

Michael C. Pintard
Leader, Free National Movement



May 26, 2024

Opposition demands immediate investigation into $675k FTX payment to public

The Opposition is alarmed by the reported allegation that FTX paid some $675,000 in
donations to companies with close ties to senior government officials. These disturbing
allegations were reportedly contained in a preliminary assessment by the US Justice
Department-appointed special examiner Robert Cleary, who was assigned to
investigate matters incidental to FTX's collapse.

To protect the Bahamas' reputation as a credible and legitimate place to do business,
the Prime Minister must immediately agree to launch a complete and thorough
investigation into these allegations of potential public corruption.

Which companies received these monies, and who were the ultimate beneficiaries of
the funds? What purposes were the monies paid out for? Did the senior government
officials involved declare the conflict of interests? Were these senior government
officials in positions that directly or indirectly influence decisions impacting FTX, its
competitors or the digital marketplace? Do the Bahamian court-appointed liquidators
have access to this information regarding nearly $700,000 in "donations" to companies
affiliated with high-ranking Bahamian officials and their families?  Have the Bahamian
liquidators put the matter forward to the authorities for further criminal investigation?

Prime Minister Davis must bring the same energy to investigating this matter as he has
brought to investigations of alleged wrongdoing by Opposition members. We do not
want this to be yet another case where the Prime Minister loses his appetite for
accountability when it comes to matters impacting people associated with the PLP.

We anticipate that the necessary investigation will examine the activities of all public
officials who had spheres of influence over decisions related to FTX, regardless of
political affiliation, before and after the change in administration. Let the proverbial chips
fall where they may.

Let's not forget that although the investigation and subsequent trial of now-convicted
felon Sam Bankman-Fried uncovered a series of crimes that would also breach the
DARE Act of The Bahamas, we have received no explanation for why those apparent
breaches of Bahamian law were never thoroughly investigated and pursued.

The Opposition is renewing our call for the Government to appoint a bipartisan Select
Committee of Parliament that would review all matters related to the FTX debacle and
the enabling legislation and domestic operating environment that gave rise to that
unfortunate situation. We must look past partisan politics and work collaboratively
across the aisle with industry stakeholders to ensure that our legislative, regulatory and
policy framework can build a robust and nimble digital assets industry that attracts only
credible entities committed to sound business practices.

The Prime Minister must ensure that the Bahamas government gets out front on the
investigation and not be pressed to move by subsequent revelations from external
sources. If the Davis Administration shirks from its constitutional duty to protect the
integrity of the jurisdiction from grave allegations of apparent misconduct by Bahamian
public officials, the Prime Minister will yet again demonstrate to the Bahamian people
and the global investment community that he and his Cabinet have neither the interest
or the inclination to uphold the rule of law and the necessary standards of conduct in
public life.

Hon. Michael C. Pintard, M.P.
Leader of the Free National Movement


Free National Movement statement of condolences on the passing of MCM Cedric parker

May 18, 2024

My wife Berlice and I join the entire Free National Movement Family in
extending heartfelt condolences on the passing of MCM Cedric Parker,
K.C., senior partner in the law firm that bears his name. He is another
warrior in the illustrious history of the FNM that has gone on to his reward.

MCM Parker was one of that distinguished group of courageous men and
women who believed in the worthiness of the cause and dedicated
themselves to ensuring that the FNM became the government of The
Bahamas, when it meant literally putting one’s family and one’s life on the

Mr. Parker demonstrated his commitment to the FNM in many ways,
including providing legal advice. That commitment was no more evident
than his agreement to stand as a candidate in the Holy Cross constituency
in 1982 and again in 1987.

The young boy from Abaco did well in his studies at the University of the
West Indies and later served as a teacher and Principal in the Family
Islands. He entered the legal profession, articling in the Chambers of the
Hon. Henry Bostwick, K.C… After being called to the bar, he established
the firm Cedric L. Parker & Co, specializing in the Law of Real Property,
Commercial Law, and Civil Litigation.

Throughout his legal career, MCM Parker distinguished himself as an
attorney’s attorney with his advice being sought by many senior and junior
colleagues alike. He was one of few attorneys who represented clients in
the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and the Privy Council.

His outstanding acumen in the practice of law earned him an appointment
as Queen’s Counsel in 2018.

Not selfish in lending his time, talents and treasures in a social cause,
MCM Parker was a distinguished Past Master of Lodge St. David No. 1741
Scottish Constitution.

Cedric- an outstanding Bahamian who served our party and country well,
will be missed by his loving wife Josephine, his children and all of us in the
Free National Movement.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory!

Hon. Michael C. Pintard, M.P.
Leader of the Free National Movement


Free National Movement statement of condolences on the passing of A. Loftus Roker

The Bahamas has lost a national treasure with the passing of the Hon. A. Loftus Roker.

Mr. Roker, a former Minister of National Security, was known for his tough stance on
Immigration when he served as Minister responsible. He was never afraid to voice his
opinion even if it went against the grain of his political party; He called a spade a spade!

A scholar and a statesman, he was a nationalist with an abiding love for the Bahamas.
Roker was the last living signatory of the Bahamas Constitution, closing a chapter of
Bahamian history that is destined to inspire future generations. He was as comfortable
in the hallowed halls of Parliament as he was at a Domino table under the bridge or in
his beloved Acklins.

The country has indeed lost a National Treasure and hero with his passing. He will be
greatly missed and always remembered.

On behalf of my wife Berlice, myself, and the entire Free National Movement family, we
extend our heartfelt condolences to the family on his passing.

Hon. Michael C. Pintard, M.P.
Leader of the Free National Movement



May 2, 2024

Today, the Chairman and Secretary General of the Free National Movement
appeared before the Supreme Court on an application for an urgent injunction
filed by claimants, Antoinette Nesbitt, Pamela Miller and Astra Armbrister-Rolle of
the #TeamEmpowerHer campaign vying for positions in the FNM Women’s
Association. The women sought an injunction to prevent the conduct of Women’s
Association on this evening, 2 nd May, 2024.

The claimants were represented by Attorney Cristina Galanos who presented
many arguments including questioning the financial standing of several MCMs
who either nominated a candidate or registered to vote. After argument by both
sides the judge dismissed the application for the injunction and said the elections
will go on this evening.

The FNM believes in democracy and to the rights of the claimants to seek redress
in the Courts. The Court has issued its ruling and we are pleased to see that the
elections will go on as scheduled.

We look forward to a fair and just elections.


FNM Statement

March 27, 2024

Today, we join scores of Bahamians who are praying for our colleague and
friend, former Minister Renward Wells, as he recovers comfortably in

This morning, I requested that Dr Sands call and check in on our colleague
and offer any aid as required. This afternoon, I had an opportunity to speak
with Renward, who is in high spirits and looking forward to being back
home with his family, whom he loves dearly. As always, he is forward-
looking and anxious to resume work.

He is in the care of the capable staff at Princess Margaret Hospital. We
stand ready to offer any practical assistance where necessary.

Hon. Michael C. Pintard, M.P.
Leader of the Free National Movement


Free National Movement statement of condolences on the passing of MCM Verlene Hanna

March 19, 2024

On behalf of my wife, Berlice, myself, and the entire Free National Movement family, we
extend our heartfelt condolences to the family on the passing of our beloved MCM Verlene

MCM Hanna was a long serving member of the West Grand Bahama and Bimini
Association and served as its Chaplain for over three decades.

She was known as a no-nonsense woman who was always willing to serve and unafraid
to speak her mind.

MCM Hanna was a member of Believers Worship Center in Freeport—she loved her God
and her church.

After she was diagnosed with cancer, she still remained active with the Party and
association until her passing.

To her daughter, Brenda Allaire: We love you, we are here for you and you will remain in
our thoughts and prayers.

May Verlene rest in peace and rise in glory.

Hon. Michael C. Pintard, M.P.
Leader of the Free National Movement



March 7, 2024

The Prime Minister’s Mid-Term Budget presentation and related display was a sad detachment from the reality of the country’s true economic and fiscal situation. This is not partisan hyperbole. Anyone taking the time to do a simple review of the accompanying reports laid in Parliament by the Prime Minister, as Minister of Finance, will readily appreciate the clear gap between his rhetoric and his Ministry’s documented reporting.

The Davis/Cooper administration continues to double down on the fantasy that it will meet its $131 million budget target for the full fiscal year, even though it has reported a near $260 million deficit after only six months. Even accepting that the third quarter of the fiscal year- January to March – will run fiscal surpluses as is typical; the final quarter of the fiscal year will run substantial deficits due to the usual end of year settlement of government commitments. This is why the Opposition agrees with the host of local financial experts and multi-lateral funding agencies in the conclusion that the Davis administration will bust its budget by a wide margin.

The International Fund (IMF) has projected a deficit of close to $380 million. The rating agency Standard & Poors and the financial firm Santander have also forecasted deficits even higher than that of the IMF. No doubt the Minister of Finance would have internal analysis that points to a massive overrun of the deficit target. Yet instead of acknowledging this clear reality, our Prime Minister continues to mislead the public about the fiscal situation. There is no amount of “greater enforcement” or other existing measure that would close the current fiscal gap – especially with a government spends public funds with such wasteful extravagance. It is at best wishful thinking and at worst willful denial.

After reviewing the fiscal management of this administration in its most recent annual Article IV report on The Bahamas, the IMF made the following pertinent assessment: “The government’s medium-term fiscal targets need to be backed by credible measures.” The inference is clear. The current fiscal targets of the Davisadministrationarenotpresentlysupportedbytherequired‘credible’measures. This failure will have dire implication for the financial health of the country.

The Prime Minister’s stewardship of the economy is even more dismal. By his own admission, the robust economic recovery has stalled. Without any public acknowledgement and clearly hoping no one would notice, the Davis administration has slashed real economic growth forecasts for the current fiscal year by a whopping 80 percent – from 5.5 percent to 1.1 percent in the mid-term budget report. After inheriting an economy that was rebounding at a 14 percent annual growth rate in 2021, the Davis Administration has taken the country right back to the slow growth/no growth economic trajectory, with all of the unfortunate implications.

In my budget presentation in Parliament last June, I referenced the IMF’s April 2023 World Economic Outlook to warn the nation’s executives that the projected growth rate of the global economy had been slashed. I stated at the time that in light of the global outlook, the government’s rosy economic projections in the budget were too high and not supported by expert analysis. Unfortunately, the government did not listen. They built their budget – and their spending – on an unrealistic economic forecast. The imminent outcome of their folly will be a budget deficit much higher than budgeted.

More than that, the fact that, according to the Ministry of Finance, the economy is to revert back to 1.1 percent growth shows that the Davis administration has been exposed. TheDavis/Cooperteamhasnoeconomicplanandtheyhavedonenothing to keep economic growth at acceptable levels. Meanwhile, the World Bank reports that our Caribbean neighbours are expected to grow on average at 4 percent this year, almost four times our pace. So, what is the excuse of the Davis/Cooper

administration? WhyistheBahamianeconomybacktosputteringalongwhilemost of our regional counterparts are roaring forward?

We know the answer. This PLP government has shirked its responsibility for sound and prudent governance in several key respects. They have failed to lay out and execute a sound Debt Management Plan. They have not committed to reforming State-Owned Enterprises which continue to absorb more resources with no increase in productivity.

Despite current reactionary rhetorical bellowing, the government is NOT reforming the Energy Sector in an open, inclusive and transparent manner. They must lay out the vision, draft and communicate the plan of action – and then engage in competitive bidding to raise the resources required to transition to cleaner and less expensive energy sources. There must be fulsome tax, legal and administrative reforms that have equal focus on expenditure restraint. There must be full openness and transparency on all public affairs.

These and other critical reform measures are the foundation upon which we can stimulate sustained economic growth while ensuring sound fiscal prudence. Unfortunately, this administration has been distracted by frivolous priorities that provide them with PR opportunities, as opposed to focusing on the things that create lasting structural changes to our economy that lead to improved real wages and improved standards of living.

Sadly, the Prime Minister is distracted with the glitz and glamour of the office and simply has not been paying attention to details of governance. Instead of inspired and competent management, the Prime Minister and his team have been busy profiling and picking low lying fruits with limited impact, instead of working tirelessly to create a more equitable and distributive society. The result has been an economy that is beginning to stall. This will not affect the PLP leadership and their

cronies. But Bahamians will continue to feel the frustration and pain due to their neglect and failure to lead.


Hon. Michael C. Pintard, M.P.
Leader of the Free National Movement

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