Bahamas Prime Minister denies promising 500 citizenships to Chinese investors
NASSAU – Prime Minister Perry Christie has dismissed as an “absolute lie”, the claim that his government has agreed to sell or grant 500 Bahamian citizenships to Chinese investors connected with the US$3.5 billion Baha Mar project.
“Bahamian citizenship is not for sale at any time, at any price, to anybody. This is a non-negotiable position of my government. Moreover, it is for me personally, a matter upon which no compromise is possible,” he insisted.
Christie sought to make that clear following media reports that Chinese investors had requested significant concessions and benefits from the government as incentive to remobilize the stalled Baha Mar project.
“I can therefore assure the Bahamian people, without any equivocation whatsoever, that no deal offering Bahamian citizenship in return for an investment in The Bahamas will ever be entered into while I head the government of The Bahamas. I find the very idea of citizenship-for-sale to be repugnant to all that I believe in and to all that I stand for as a Bahamian. It will never happen on my watch,” he said.
The prime minister also stressed that the granting of Bahamian citizenship is subject to strict eligibility requirements and qualifications under The Bahamas Nationality Act.
“The suggestion that just because you buy Bahamian real estate or make an investment you somehow qualify for Bahamian citizenship is complete and utter nonsense. Not only is it as a complete non-starter from the standpoint of the Government’s immigration policy, it is not even legally possible,” Christie said.
He indicated that he would be speaking in more comprehensive terms to the misleading information presently circulating on social and the electronic media concerning Baha Mar during his contribution to the budget debate in the House of Assembly later this week.