Bahamas, July 27, 2017 – Nassau – Bahamian politicians are not so special that they should be exempt from the rule of law, Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Alexander Minnis said Wednesday.
Prime Minister Minnis announced that his Administration will implement changes to prevent fiscal mismanagement in governance going forward and that Administration officials are identifying loopholes so as to avoid repeat corrupt practices.
“I will not comment specifically on cases concerning alleged bribery and corrupt practices by public officials, but I do note the following; individuals should be treated equally before the law, “ Prime Minister Minnis said.
“If judicial or police officials do not have the requisite paperwork necessary to charge any citizen regardless of standing in the country, that individual should not be charged until the appropriate time.
“If all people deserve to be treated equally before the law, I find it disturbing that some people believe that politicians in The Bahamas should be above the law and should not be held accountable for malfeasance or misdeeds while in office.”
Delivering his inaugural national address as the nation’s Chief Executive Officer, Prime Minister Minnis said politicians “around the world” are often charged for certain crimes and when found guilty, have to pay the penalty for their crimes.
“Political leaders next door in the United States of America regularly are charged and found guilty of certain crimes. Bahamian politicians are not so special that we should be exempt from the rule of law. This includes members of my party and my government.”
Prime Minister Minnis said public corruption places a heavy toll on a country.
“Foreign investors become frustrated, or often stay away because of corruption. Millions that can be used for the public good, too often end up in private pockets. Public finances are wrecked when there is mass corruption by politicians and public officials.”
Prime Minister Minnis said the Watchdog group, Transparency International, has reported often on the toll corruption takes on national development including in developing countries such as The Bahamas.
“It is unfair, and unjust, for politicians to accumulate considerable wealth from corruption while the citizens of a country – especially the poor – are left behind.”
Prime Minister Minnis said the country needs a new era of public integrity and reform.
“This era is upon us,” Prime Minister Minnis added.