By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
FORMER Progressive Liberal Party MP Dr Andre Rollins yesterday admitted that he committed a “cardinal mistake” with his repeated public criticisms of Prime Minister Perry Christie over his leadership abilities, but insisted that he does not regret those actions.
The now independent MP ultimately resigned as a member of the PLP in June following months of frosty relations with members of the party.
Speaking about his political future on 96.9 FM’s radio talk show The Revolution yesterday, Dr Rollins suggested that he could be open to joining either the FNM or the DNA, adding that casual discussions had taken place with the official opposition and the third party since he left the PLP.
However, he said, he was uncertain of whether his 2017 political run would involve offering himself for the Fort Charlotte constituency again because at this point it was unclear whether the area would remain an election boundary.
“I made a cardinal error or mistake in criticising the leader,” Dr Rollins said when asked by the show’s guest host Quincy Parker if the PLP had tried to re-engage him since severing ties with the party.
He continued: “That’s not to say that I regret that I did it. I don’t regret that. I did it. What I am saying is that people in the organisation would not and have not forgiven me for doing that and held it against me and still do and felt that I was completely disrespectful to the leader (Mr Christie) as the culture of the organisation does not permit constructive criticism of the leadership of the organisation.
“That is not the way that we are going to grow our country if we treat our leaders as if they are infallible human beings who can do no wrong and are always right. Then we are always going to get what we have gotten, a country that is not growing, that is not progressing.
“So, no, I do not regret that I was critical of Mr Christie and I think that if more people within the PLP spoke openly and honestly about the faults and the failings of the PLP, the party would do more to change the way it conducts its affairs.”
Dr Rollins also remained adamant that the PLP should be voted out of office at the next general election over its handling of several major issues. He said in his opinion, the FNM has not proven to be an effective opposition party making the newly formed DNA more attractive to voters.
During a House of Assembly session in June, Dr Rollins quit the PLP explaining that he was no longer wanted in the party after several unsuccessful attempts were made to block him from making a contribution to the 2015/2016 budget debate.
Dr Rollins said that while he had no prior intention of resigning from the party that night, he “would be a fool” to call himself a PLP after the way he was treated.
Ten months before this, he was fired by then acting Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis as Gaming Board chairman following a scathing criticism of the nation’s chief.
Dr Rollins, who had defied Mr Davis’ call to meet him and “do the honourable thing,” was later sent a letter from the acting prime minister, informing him of his termination from the post to which Mr Christie had appointed him.
Dr Rollins also resigned as party whip last year during a debate on proposed constitutional changes because of strong reservations over the second and fourth Constitutional Amendment Bills.