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NASSAU, Bahamas, Mar 3, CMC – Prime Minister Perry Christie has apologised for flashing his middle finger as part of an obscene gesture at a public meeting earlier this week even as the main opposition Free National Movement (FNM) called on him to name the date for the general election.

In a statement to Parliament on Thursday, Christie, who is leading the ruling Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) into the general election in May, said “I really stand to express my regret, to indicate specifically that it related to specific attacks by specific individuals.

“I have seen my family respond in magnificent ways where they have invited people into our home, had meetings with them, who said bad things, and where the spirit of forgiveness was afoot before everyone,” he said.

“I just want to say that…I take responsibility, and I indicate that there was never any intention to speak to any person or issue other than those who were attacking me or my family and that the balance that should exist at all times ought to prevent in full consideration, the gesture, whatever it is described that I did, and I hope that those who may have been offended by it who were present would accept that that is a matter I would not have wished that I did,” he said.

Christie told legislators “and to those who are people in our country, who would wish to understand what I did, would accept my deepest expression of regret”.

On Monday night, Christie made the gesture at a PLP public meeting saying this is how he responded to an allegation he had heard earlier during the day.

He was making reference to a man, whom he described as a “lunatic” that had been insisting that he acknowledge ownership of a condominium.

“This is what I told (told) him,” Christie said, lifting his middle finger.

But the FNM in a statement described the action as “vulgar” and called on the prime minister to name the date for the election.

‘Callousness’, ‘dismissive’ and now ‘vulgar’, are words the Bahamian people use to describe the embattled Prime Minister. As the election draws near he is becoming more and more unhinged. His offensive gesture in front of women, children and seniors is not something even his own party members should be defending, but they do,” said FNM chairman, Sidney Collie.

“The country is exhausted by all these antics and is clearly ready to turn the page. The only thing stopping us is the embattled Prime Minister’s refusal to call the election.,” he said , adding that the government had engaged in several measures to hoodwink the population ahead of the election.

“Enough is enough.It is time to call the election so the people can have their say. The people are tired of watching their embattled Prime Minister continue to find new ways to embarrass himself and The Bahamas. If he’s truly sorrowful for his latest meltdown he would give the people hope, and a chance to voice themselves by calling the election, Collie said.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), Branville McCartney, has announced his resignation from the Senate “with immediate effect”.

“To the people of The Bahamas, we say that if you want a government serious about fighting crime and putting the fear of God into these savage criminals who apparently have free reign on our streets, look to the DNA; if you want an end to this corruption that pollutes and perverts governance in our country, look to the DNA;

“if you want real accountability for where in the world our billions of tax dollars have been funneled without our knowledge, look to the DNA; if you want a government that stands for you and will return power and prosperity to the rightful owners of The Bahamas, look to the DNA,” McCartney said in a statement.

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