Brent Symonette

DNA: Debate is about economic empowerment and equal opportunity


  • Discussion is about oppressive and inequitable system not personalities

  • DNA condemns attempts to divide Bahamians

  • Political tribalism created by PLP and FNM

  • Both parties have political elites and cronies

  • Concern over vision and future of financial services

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) has reviewed comments attributed to the Hon. Brent Symonette regarding his unceremonious resignation from the Cabinet of The Bahamas. 


The DNA condemns any and all attempts to further divide Bahamians along racial lines in an environment polarized by political tribalism as created by the Free National Movement (FNM) and the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). The DNA is the unifying force for Bahamians of all races, gender, creed and backgrounds with sole allegiance to the aquamarine, gold and black.


It is unfortunate that as we approach the 46th anniversary of our political independence, legitimate concerns of the Bahamian people and their quest for economic empowerment are being reduced to a discussion about race. While our history reflects a period of racial, economic and political oppression, the DNA submits that the current debate is not rooted in racial bias. We find it unacceptable that allegations of conflicts of interest, political favoritism, cronyism and nepotism are being disguised as racism in a 21st Century Bahamas.


To set the record straight, the Bahamian people are fed up with an economic system that is set against them in favor of a select few of political aristocrats and elites. It is common knowledge that political elites and cronies exist within the FNM and PLP; they originate from different races, creed and ethnicities. This is the crux of the frustration of the masses and the younger generation of Bahamians who have been shut out of opportunities within an oppressive economic system.


Mr. Symonette admitted that he might not have communicated to the Prime Minister that he did not intend to serve a full term at the time of his appointment to the Cabinet. This raises questions about the abrupt announcement and timing of his resignation at a time when our number two industry – financial services – for which he had responsibility is under tremendous pressure. We note that this is not the first time in recent years that the Minister responsible for financial services has resigned. The resignation of the Minister of Financial Services under the previous PLP administration also sent shockwaves across the industry at that time. This raises concerns about the vision for and importance placed on the second largest contributor to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


The former Minister asserted that he “believes that younger people should take over” and this informed his decision to resign or retire when he turns 65 in December 2019. Perhaps, Mr. Symonette should share his sentiments with the Prime Minister who turned 65 earlier in April and has used the retirement age as justification for forcing several public servants into retirement. 


Over the decades, the PLP and FNM have presided over the establishment of a system of private sector monopolies and oligarchies to the exclusion and disadvantage of ordinary Bahamians. The outcry within the populace goes beyond Mr. Symonette and is directed primarily at the status quo which favors this unjust system of marginalization. 


The DNA in partnership with the Bahamian people will finally dismantle this system and usher in an era of transparency, accountability, meritocracy and economic empowerment for our people.



Arinthia S. Komolafe

Leader

Democratic National Alliance