Opposition leader Philip ‘Brave’ Davis.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
AS the Progressive Liberal Party’s convention nears, Official Opposition Leader Philip “Brave” Davis said he will appoint a constitutional reform committee to fully review the party’s constitution to ensure it meets modern expectations.
“I think it’s time for us to review the party’s constitution in totality to today’s reality,” he said, “making sure the constitution is more relevant to the political party in today’s context. I’ll be appointing a committee to do that, we’ll do that at the convention.
“The manner in which stalwart councillors are (selected) will be among the matters addressed,” he said.
In addition, he said the review will focus on ways to “ensure that branches have more say in national affairs and that the provisions of the constitution have more relevance to not just officers, members and leaders, but to the wider general public.”
The constitutions of the major political parties have long been criticised as less than democratic because of the power they bestow upon leaders.
Before January’s PLP national convention, former Attorney General Alfred Sears derided the election process, saying 355 stalwart councillors were appointed on the eve of the party’s internal election.
The former Fort Charlotte MP wrote in June: “At the convention, immediately before nominations for officers on January 25, 2017, the party’s constitution was amended giving the leader the authority to increase the number of stalwart councillors ‘as he deems necessary.’ The appointment of these new stalwart councillors on the eve of the convention automatically conferred voting status on these persons to determine the leadership race.”
Mr Sears vied unsuccessfully against former Prime Minister Perry Christie for the leadership of the PLP in January. After holding the post for 20 years, Mr Christie resigned as PLP leader several days after the party suffered an embarrassing defeat in the general election.
The PLP’s next convention will take place between October 22-25. Mr Davis has revealed his intention to vie for the party’s leadership. No one has yet announced an intention to challenge him. Former Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe has said he will run for chairmanship of the party. Former Minister of State for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez has also said he is mulling over running in the chairman race.