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FNM govt suspended public servants charged in court



Several government workers and members of the uniformed branches who were charged in the Magistrates Court were suspended from their jobs under the former Minnis Administration but now that a former member of that government faces criminal charges, the Free National Movement sees no need for him to resign.


A manager at the National Insurance Board was suspended in 2017 after being accused of corruption under the former government. That case was eventually thrown out.


Several police officers and Defence Force officers have suffered a similar fate.


However, the party has said it doesn’t think that Long Island MP Adrian Gibson should have to resign after being arraigned on 56 corruption charges that stem from the award of Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) contracts during his time as executive chairman.


“We in the Free National Movement stand in solidarity with Mr. Gibson and believe that, according to the laws of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, he is innocent until proven guilty,” FNM Leader Michael Pintard said in a statement.


However, former FNM Deputy Leader Loretta Butler-Turner questioned the change in principles of leaders of the party.


“The party leader needs to make a determination that this is not just a reflection right now on Mr. Gibson. This is a reflection on the type of leadership that he will have if he ever takes the reins of power,” said Butler-Turner.


“If he were the leader of the country and he took this position, this would not be looked upon well. He is the leader in waiting. He cannot change principles based on where he’s at.


“He wants to lead this country so he’s got to demonstrate astute leadership at this point.”


According to critics, the principles of the FNM seem to have changed over the years as members now support accused individuals remaining on the job, while they have matters before the courts.


Does it mean that all government workers who were suspended after being charged during the FNM’s four-year reign should immediately be brought back on the job?


Or does the FNM only support alleged corrupt acts when committed by their own?


“I think that history will judge the current leader, Mr. Pintard, on this stance that he has taken,” Butler-Turner added.

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