By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Deputy Chief Reporter
FORMER Progressive Liberal Party MP Philip Galanis yesterday suggested that Alfred Sears, who is challenging the party’s leadership post, will not receive a fair shot during the party’s convention later this month.
Despite “tremendous” public dissatisfaction with the PLP’s leadership, Mr Galanis said the odds are in favour of Prime Minister Perry Christie, who he predicted will remain party leader following the highly anticipated political event.
It is planned for January 24 to 26 and has been postponed several times, most recently from November because the staging of a major political event so soon after the passage of Hurricane Matthew was a concern to some members of the party.
Mr Galanis explained that the construction of the party’s election process does not lend to a fair process for the challenger, a former Cabinet minister and Attorney General.
This comes after Mr Christie spoke of his energy and eagerness to serve another term in office on Sunday.
While this maybe the case for the Prime Minister, Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Sidney Collie insisted that Bahamians were not eager for another Christie administration for five more years.
He said with his party’s “change team” the FNM will soon ascend to office.
“I believe that at the end of the day the odds are in favour of Mr Christie winning because of the way that the election process is designed,” Mr Galanis told The Tribune when he was contacted. “That is that the leader of the party has the ability to appoint a number of stalwart councillors, many of whom may feel ingratiated to the leader and therefore support him.
“I think, however, that there is a tremendous amount of dissatisfaction in the public domain with respect to the body of politics in general that relates to the PLP, the Free National Movement and the dissidents of the FNM and the DNA. I think people generally are really tired of the petty politics that they see ensuing in this country and really want leaders who are more dedicated and prepared to address the real issues in this country of which there are many.
“I am not prepared at this point to say that Mr Christie’s continued leadership of the PLP will hurt it in the elections, (but) what I do think would happen is if the people can see new leadership at various levels of the party - that is chairmanship, the leadership and also among the candidates who will be offering for the general elections - they will be more inclined to support the PLP.
“I think that generally people are really frustrated because the FNM is extremely fractured, well the entire opposition is fractured. So the people generally feel that they are really choosing between the lesser of all evils and not necessarily the best of all options.”
In a press statement yesterday, Mr Collie said this term under the PLP’s leadership has been an “unmitigated disaster” for the Bahamian people.
He said: “The embattled prime minister may be eager for another term, but the Bahamian people are not. He may think that he has done an excellent job for the Bahamian people, but they know that the PLP government has been more concerned about taking care of their foreign allies and political supporters than the Bahamian people. Their record stands for itself – junk bond status, endemic unemployment, and rising crime, which has led other countries to issue travel warnings, scandals, secret deals, and continued mismanagement and failures. Their four and a half years have been full of empty rhetoric and broken promises, and the Bahamian people are sick and tired of it.
“The embattled prime minister must have been living in a bubble for these past four and half years, because they have been an unmitigated disaster for the Bahamian people. We continue to encourage them to run on their failed record. While the Prime Minister is trying to explain away the past four and a half years, maybe the Bahamian people will finally get answers to critical questions that the PLP have been ignoring for years. Like, where has the VAT money gone? What are they hiding in their secret Baha Mar deal with their Chinese allies? Why have they not fixed our failing school system? How do they answer for the continuously high murder and crime rates for the past four consecutive years? The Bahamian people deserve answers to these questions,” Mr Collie said.
Speaking before a crowd of jubilant supporters at a PLP Women’s Branch meeting Sunday, Mr Christie brushed off his critics as he spoke of plans his administration hopes to finalise before voters head to the polls this year.
Highlighting many of his party’s achievements, Mr Christie contended that the PLP has done and continues to do “everything possible to move The Bahamas forward”. He also urged party supporters to show the country how strong and unified the PLP is at its upcoming convention.
He suggested that despite efforts by a section of his party to unseat him as leader, he will not relent in the forward progress of the country, nor his political work.
Touching on details of several initiatives, including airports in North Eleuthera and Exuma, plans to construct a modern care facility for children with special needs and disabilities, and multiple public/private partnership agreements that would see the construction of roadways, government buildings and other national projects, Mr Christie declared that the “work of country” would not slow due to “those that challenge our progress.”
“We in this democracy do not run away from the fact that we encourage people to know that this party does not stand in your way,” he said.
“We do not force people to be what they do not want to be. This is a party that allows the free rein of your thinking, of your reasoning and of your decision-making.”
Mr Christie, noting several of the recent stops he had made on his campaign trail, stated that he has made a point not to ask for, or request the support of those that he comes in contact with; opting instead to remind persons of the work he and his team have done.
Earlier this month he said that the former Attorney General has been given a fair shot to lead the party, despite concern that the party’s late convention may discourage delegates and party stalwarts from approving a change of leadership so close to the next general election.
Greentea 6 years, 4 months ago
He won't. Same ole, same ole in the plp. Just sad.
Alex_Charles 6 years, 4 months ago
Sears is a good candidate in the wrong party. despite his connections with the Numbers boys his policy positions are sound and his views are in the 21st century. But I'm afraid I cannot trust that so long as he runs in the PLP. No point in changing the ship captain if the same group of plunderers are still onboard.
banker 6 years, 4 months ago
Galanis is just looking for another horse to ride or a cow to milk.
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