Outspoken politician Leslie Miller said on Sunday that he has “full faith” in leaving his grandchildren in the hands of Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.
In a post-general elections exclusive interview with The Freeport News, Miller pointed out that prior to the elections he had expressed his confidence in Dr. Minnis as prime minister. He acknowledged that he got some flack from within the Progressive Liberal Party for the comment, but said he stands by his view regarding Dr. Minnis.
“It’s in his hands now. He has to direct the ship. He has to get his colleagues to follow his attitude. He has to rein in the over-zealous ones. It is an awesome responsibility he has. But, as I have said before, I have “full faith” in the future of my grand children being in his hands.
“The Minnis Government has to succeed. My main concern is that the government has to create a multitude of jobs. We have to get more jobs for the women. The men need jobs too, but the reality is that it is the women who are certain to do all in their power to provide for the children. The men are neglectful. But, the women will never neglect the children they bear into this world.
“There is no choice. For the country to go forward, we have to employ more women. It is a huge challenge Dr. Minnis faces but his government has to create jobs. We need more investments. The second phase of Baha Mar has to open. We need to have a greater mix in the business sector between the local manufacturers and the hotels. It’d a tall order, but I wish him well,” said Miller.
Asked whether he is of the view that PM Dr. Minnis will usher in a more matured political culture, Miller said “that depends on certain factors.”
“I don’t know whether or not the nation will see a greater level of maturity among the politicians. That will depend on Dr. Minnis. He is a good man. I don’t think anybody refutes that. But, you have to bear in mind that there are a lot of young people in parliament now. Some of them will be pumping their chest. So it will boil down to how they speak, how they express their views. Dr. Minnis has the right attitude and he would have to instill that in his colleagues,” said Miller.
Miller’s PLP group has been decimated. A very large percentage of the PLP presence has been removed from front line politics in the country. The voting during the general elections left the PLP with just four seats in the House of Assembly and an equally small amount for the Senate. Former Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis is now the PLP Leader on an interim basis.
Does Miller expect the small opposition force to be meaningful?
“I think Brave will be fine. He will be an inclusive leader. He is more down to earth and will surround himself with regular PLPs. He will bring new PLP blood into the party and I expect he would do well, considering. As for the entire opposition battle, I would hope that Alfred Sears is among the Senate group,” said Miller.
Sears contested the Fort Charlotte Constituency in New Providence, and was beaten handily by Mark Humes of the Free National Movement. Sears, in the last PLP Convention, ran for the leadership against former Prime Minister Perry Christie and is well respected across the entire political spectrum in the country. He now though, depends on Davis making a Senate choice in his favor as the PLP seeks to be re-energized.
Miller acknowledged that the support base of the PLP has eroded and he said Davis has the task of getting PLPs who have been disillusioned, back into the fold.
“We know that some 30,000 Bahamians did not vote. I think it is safe to assume that many of them were PLPs who just determined that they would not vote for the Christie Government. So, they didn’t go to the polls. Brave has the task of assembling all of those and get them back with us. If he can harness them, the party will be back to its strength with 40-plus percent of the voters,” said Miller.
The veteran politician reiterated his positive feeling about Dr. Minnis being in control, and said he stands firm on wanting the new PM to succeed.
(Dr. Michael Darville, who was defeated during the general elections in the Pineridge Constituency contest, is rumored to be one of Davis’selections for the Senate).