November 01, 2016
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts and Free National Movement (FNM) candidate for Montagu Dionisio D'Aguilar exchanged political blows yesterday, with Roberts accusing D'Aguilar of having a conflict of interest in his role as a politician and his former role as a director of Baha Mar, and D'Aguilar accusing Roberts of being silent in the face of a reported conflict of interest in his own party.
"It is unfortunate that the first public action taken by Dionisio D'Aguilar as an announced candidate for membership in the House of Assembly is failing to recognize that when there is a conflict between his role as a politician and that of his former role as a director of Baha Mar and surrogate for (ousted Baha Mar developer) Sarkis Izmirlian, he must not be confused; he must place his national role first," Roberts said.
The PLP has accused FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis of selling the soul of the FNM to Izmirlian.
In addition to D'Aguilar, the FNM has ratified another former senior Baha Mar player, Marvin Dames, who is running in Mount Moriah, and is considering giving a nomination to Jeffrey Lloyd, who played a prominent role in training and development at Baha Mar before Izmirlian filed for bankruptcy protection last year.
Roberts alleged yesterday that Izmirlian has "managed to shatter the confidence of many persons with whom he has entered into agreements" and took issue with D'Aguilar's repeated defense of Izmirlian.
He also took issue with D'Aguilar saying the government should "get over" its annoyance over the fact that Izmirlian did not give any notice he was filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 29, 2015.
"This is where the question of an overt conflict of interest becomes front and center," Roberts said.
"In fact, it goes further, because it gives rise to the question as to whether this was the basis upon which the soul of the FNM was sold, that somehow an FNM government would forgive and forget the damage which was done to the national interest of Baha Mar when a certain course of action was taken in the U.S. courts."
In a statement of his own released yesterday, D'Aguilar said, "It is incredible that Bradley Roberts would speak of a conflict of interest at Baha Mar when our own attorney general has admitted her family's ties to leases at Baha Mar and yet has failed to recuse herself from the secret negotiations with the Chinese."
D'Aguilar, who owns SuperWash, said, "Bradley Roberts once said to me that when he wanted advice on how to wash clothes, he would ask me; otherwise I would do well to be quiet.
"So let me say to Bradley Roberts, when Bahamians want advice on how to ruin an economy, on how to have non transparency in government, on how to misuse and abuse the trust of the Bahamian people, we will seek his advice.
"When Bahamians want advice on how to have what is supposed to be a democratic party but fails to hold a convention in seven years, under the guise of appointing Prime Minister Perry Christie as some sort of king of the PLP, we will ask him.
"Until then, he would do well to remain silent, as Bahamians are tired of his useless rhetoric."
Sloan Smith, Guardian Staff Reporter
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