Desperate for votes and playing to anti-foreign sentiments, PLP Opposition Leader, Perry Christie made one final last ditch attempt to thwart the sale of BTC to Cable & Wireless Communications (C&WC).
Christie issued his strongest threat yet against the company set to takeover the Bahamas Telecommunications company.
Cable and Wireless Communications was supposed to take control of BTC yesterday, April 4, 2011, after paying $210 million for a 51 per cent stake in the government-owned utility. Later that day, the new company management was to meet with unions leaders representing BTC workers, as they move towards a smooth transition of management.
Mr Christie, in a published statement entitled “Final warning on BTC”, said the whole deal is “contrary to the national interest” and “will not stand” if the PLP is elected back into power.
Calling C&W a “foreign company”, Mr Christie continued to play on racial discrimination and anti-foreigner sentiments so common in the Bahamas.
“No one can say in the circumstances of this transaction and our publicly stated and clear position, that they do not know what to expect from a future PLP administration. Buyer beware! Cease and desist! Do not proceed! I cannot be more clear on this. This is an affront to the Bahamian people.
“We will use all lawful means available to us to ensure that it will not stand,” said the PLP leader, reiterating and reaffirming a threat first issued in the midst of the sale process in a manner which indicates that the PLP’s position on the matter is not set to change in light of the formalisation of the sale.”
Saying he would ignore the legal implications of the deal, Mr Christie said if the PLP is elected, he intends to have a “full public inquiry into the sale of BTC’s assets to C&WC”, suggesting that there are “too many unanswered questions about this deal.”
Mr Christie’s stance is hypocritical since it was the PLP that tried to sell BTC to a mysterious foreign company before they were voted out of power in 2007.
Their secret strategy backfired. It ended in disaster and turned into an embarrassing spectacle for the leadership of the PLP.
Unlike Mr Christie’s secret deal to Bluewater, the FNM government has kept the entire process transparent by tabling all of the documents connected to the sale.