By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
PLP candidate Ryan Pinder yesterday predicted he will win the Elizabeth seat by hundreds of votes, dismissing survey results that put him in a deadlock with FNM candidate Duane Sands.
Mr Pinder said it was clear that the Progressive Liberal Party will be elected as the next government of The Bahamas.
If chosen for a cabinet position, Mr Pinder theorised that his portfolio would centre around his institutional knowledge of the financial services industry.
"I'm far ahead of Dr Sands on the ground," Mr Pinder said. "Polls are only as good as the date it was taken. What I have been seeing on the ground is overwhelming support for myself."
"You can get a survey to say whatever you want," Mr Pinder said. "We're on the ground, we have a very dynamic campaign in Elizabeth. We insist on speaking with every voter, we will circle back and circle back until we speak with everyone.
"I have a tremendous amount of confidence that I will win by a large margin, the PLP will win a significant margin in this election you just have to take an objective look at the rallies. Both big parties will draw big crowds that's expected, but the PLP's crowd at every event is larger and larger and larger, that's a tell-tale sign, look at the young people that attend PLP functions, we've gotten an unbelievable amount of support at the rallies from the young people."
On a radio talk show yesterday, Mr Pinder said that the government's decision to disband the Ministry of Financial Services has largely contributed to the country's descent in industry ranking.
The ministry is evidence of PLP Leader Perry Christie's dynamism, according to Mr Pinder, who said that the initiative was mirrored by industry competitors, the Cayman Islands.
"Since this government has taken office, every single measuring cycle for the index that measures your competitiveness, your ranking, we've dropped as a country," he said.
"We have lost our competitive edge, we have lost our progressive and dynamic policy-making that we saw under the Perry Christie administration."
He added: "When the Prime Minister disbanded the ministry of financial services he did not disband the regulatory functions, he disbanded the policy making functions, and you can't disband policy making functions in a highly globally competitive industry and expect to keep pace with your neighbours."