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2005-05-12 16:14:09

Big Cable Beach Deal Clouded By Secrecy

Senator Tommy Turnquest points out disturbing aspects of the 'too good to be true' deal.

Your grandmother might have told you that if something seems too good to be true, it probably isn't. That appears to be the case with the recent, much ballyhooed Cable Beach deal.

While everybody agrees that the Baha Mar deal is legitimate and will revitalize the Cable Beach strip, some wonder if we gave away too much to make it happen. Hard to tell since government will not release all the details of the deal.

Senator Tommy Turnquest, leader of the FNM party, recently told supporters that he is "concerned" about the confidentiality clause that was included in the Baha Mar agreements.

"Why is there a need for a confidentiality clause? What are they trying to hide?" he asked.

Mr. Turnquest stressed that the government needs to come clean with the Bahamian people and "fully disclose" all the details of the massive deal.

"We do not just want the Heads of Agreement, but also the three agreements for sale, inclusive of their schedules and annexes, signed and sold on behalf of the Bahamian people by the Prime Minister as minister responsible for Crown lands, by the Treasurer; and by the Bahamas Hotel Corporation (George Smith and Baltron Bethel)."

Mr. Turnquest feels there are aspects of the deal that are intentionally being withheld because it would enrage Bahamians who might feel the PLP gave away too much just to close the deal.

He said section 25 of the agreement will transfer government entities to the purchaser with no additional consideration. Does this refer to the well fields that the government promised not to sell?

The FNM Senator also spoke about the casino tax concessions and the cancellation of the stamp tax by Government for the developers. 

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