By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts yesterday announced the party’s decision to postpone its November convention until next year because of the devastation left behind by Hurricane Joaquin in the Family Islands and the recovery efforts underway.
The party planned to hold its convention early next month when all executive positions would have been open to be contested.
However, given the current circumstances, Mr Roberts said a new tentative date of April 2016 has been set.
The decision came following a Convention Committee meeting yesterday evening where it was decided that it would be best to postpone the political event, as the affected islands needed the government’s full attention.
“The general public is advised that the leadership of the Progressive Liberal Party has accepted the recommendation of the Convention Committee and has agreed to postpone the planned national convention scheduled for the first week in November until 2016,” Mr Robert said in a press statement.
“The party’s leadership has determined that the level of devastation caused by Hurricane Joaquin and the scope of the recovery, the rebuilding and restoration efforts – especially of the physical infrastructure – necessarily require the full attention and focus of the government at this time.
“Bringing a measure of normalcy and comfort to the lives of the residents of the southern Bahamas and assisting them with rebuilding their lives and their communities are of paramount importance to the government at this time.
“Politics must necessarily and wisely take a secondary role to this critical national undertaking.
“The new date for the national convention will be communicated to the public in due course, but is projected to held in April 2016,” Mr Roberts said.
He apologised for any inconvenience caused by the rescheduling of the event.
His statement came after Prime Minister Perry Christie suggested yesterday that he would not have any reservations about postponing the convention, saying the country was in the midst of grappling with mass devastation.
“For me personally the answer is yes (the convention should be postponed),” Mr Christie told reporters yesterday following a hefty donation at his office by web shop bosses for storm relief.
“I think it is fair for me as the leader of the government to allow the leaders of the party to make the decision and so I will rely on their good judgment with these matters and be able to inform them that the country is now gripped in the throes of a major crisis that has affected hundreds if not thousands of Bahamians in a very adverse way.”
He continued: “During the next several months in the Bahamas there must be extraordinary focus placed on those islands and where some big decisions have to be made on those islands with respect to infrastructure (and) whether or not people should continue to live in particular areas if they live in those areas.
“If they live in those areas and they exercise that choice (then the question is) what kind of building control should there be to guide them.”
Last week, third party, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), announced that its convention would also be put off until next year due to the monster storm.
Hurricane Joaquin battered the central and southern Bahamas for two days, on October 1 and 2. The category four storm brought chest high storm surges, tore off roofs, knocked out walls in some buildings and left severe flooding in its wake.
Long Island, Crooked Island, Acklins, San Salvador, Cat Island, Mayaguana, Rum Cay, Long Cay and Samana Cay all received damage due to the storm.