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How the finger got the Bahamian Prime Minister in Hot Water

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NASSAU, The Bahamas, Wednesday, March 1, 2017 – Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie is facing criticism after he flipped the bird during a fiery speech at a political meeting of his ruling Progressive Liberal Party.

A pumped up Christie made the uncharacteristic gesture while sharing with his supporters in Fox Hill on Sunday night how he had responded to an allegation levelled against him.

The Nassau Guardian reported that Christie told the crowd, which included children, that a man he described as a “lunatic” had challenged him to admit that he owned a condominium featured in a post.

“This is what I [told ] him …” the Prime Minister said and then stuck up his middle finger, which is widely recognized as a non-verbal obscenity.

“There was no possibility of me having weak knees in the face of the grossest lines,” he added.

The PLP leader charged that “lies and distortion” were usually prevalent during election campaigns and he warned his team and supporters to “get used to it.”

But according to the Tribune newspaper, Christie’s finger flipping had not gone down well with some religious groups.

Bahamas Christian Council President Rev Dr Ranford Patterson said the nation’s leader has a responsibility to children to apologize for his obscene gesture and explain why he did it.

And Bishop Simeon Hall, pastor emeritus of New Covenant Baptist Church, said Christie should learn to curse “in private”.

“It is very unfortunate that Mr Christie chose to do that,” Rev Patterson told The Tribune.

“It is not becoming of a Prime Minister. I have gotten calls from as far as the United States after the picture and the story went viral. Whether he meant anything bad by it or not, whether he meant to do it or not, it does not look good for this country.”

Bishop Hall told the newspaper it was unfortunate that Christie allowed his critics to “pull him below” the dignity of his office.

“The Prime Minister must apologize. He owes the critics and this country as a whole an apology….He has allowed critics to pull him beneath the dignity of his office,” he said. “A leader sometimes needs to learn to cuss in private. It is most disappointing.”

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