By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A GROUP of concerned citizens has formed a new political party – the Bahamas Democracy Party – with plans to run several candidates in the next general election.
Drexil Burnside Sr, who said he is the party’s leader, told The Tribune that he is “very confident” about the BDP’s chances of winning seats in the House of Assembly in the next election.
Mr Burnside, who said he works in the transportation industry, criticised the two major political parties, calling both the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and Free National Movement (FNM) “ineffective.”
He also criticised the Democratic National Alliance (DNA).
“We are very confident heading into the next election,” he said. “We should have some good seats. When we go and campaign, we ask about the other parties, have they been in the area, have they talked with people?
“Most people are not feeling the DNA like that. The name is out there, the name sounds good, but most people are not feeling them right now.”
He added: “The reason why the country is in the state it’s in between now and ten years back is because of four elements: political cronyism, political affiliation, playing party politics and victimisation. We decided to form a party to ensure that all Bahamians are treated fairly without those four elements in our system. We feel like that’s the only way Bahamians could receive a better way of life and receive good governance, once those four elements are out of the lives of Bahamian people.”
According to Mr Burnside, the party was formed on April 16 by 13 people, including Jay Armbrister, who lost his bid as an independent candidate for the Elizabeth Estates constituency in the 2012 general election.
Despite the BDP’s relative infancy, Mr Burnside said his party already has seven candidates, and is looking to expand its prominence in New Providence.
“We’ll focus more on (being) Nassau-based,” he told The Tribune.
“Once we have all our candidates safe in Nassau and push a strong campaign, informing the people of our plans and what we’re going to do in terms of crime – part of it is we’re going to enforce capital punishment. We’re going to enforce all of our laws without any political affiliation. That’s part of our message we want to push.
“We have a lot of plans. We have a 35-page plan, we’re still planning because our candidates are coming out with ideas and they also have plans. So it’s a lot of stuff that we have down the pipeline.”
Mr Burnside, who said he intends to run for the Pinewood seat, said he has already implemented “strong” groundwork in the area.
“The young men in Pinewood give me their support because I’m interacting with them, playing basketball with them, they’re coming to my home asking for advice in terms of can I help them get a job, stuff like that,” he said. “Their hope is still a little alive, but where the economy is so bad, it dims their hope a little bit.”
He added: “My ground campaign in Pinewood is strong. I have a lot of support. I have about 50 persons in my campaign so far in the Pinewood constituency, and they are not into DNA, FNM or PLP in that area.”