Official Opposition Leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis said his party’s intention is for him to be leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament, adding that it has not yet been determined when the Progressive Liberal Party will have its next convention.
Mr Davis became interim leader of the PLP after former Prime Minister Perry Christie resigned as party leader during a National General Council meeting Monday night.
Asked about a possible convention to settle the leadership questions facing the party, Mr Davis said: “That’s a matter that I would take under advisement as things evolve. At the moment we have to ready ourselves for Parliament, prepare ourselves for the budget debate that is about to commence shortly. There are some other election issues that we have to settle as well.”
Mr Davis said he’s not concerned that there are only four opposition members in Parliament because they are “up to the task of discharging” their responsibilities.
His assessment of his party’s comprehensive defeat in last week’s general election is that the Bahamian people “wanted change.”
Meanwhile, former West End Grand Bahama and Bimini MP Obie Wilchcombe revealed to this newspaper his intention to run for chairman of the PLP at the party’s next convention, which, he said, should be held in the next several months.
In reflecting on his party’s defeat, Mr Wilchcombe said that the former Christie administration’s failure to table and pass campaign finance legislation was a “mistake.”
He alleged that money played a role in the party’s historic defeat.
“There were some irregularities we saw,” he said. “The amount of people who did not vote, there are questions as to why. Were they not inspired or were they paid? That is why it has to be investigated. In my constituency we are doing a data analysis right now and looking at all the circumstances, not to challenge in court because the results are in, but we can’t take the country forward that way; democracy is not for sale.”
Mr Wilchcombe alleged that both parties have allowed big money to impact elections in the country.
“Wealthy individuals who have given their funds and their funds have been effectively utilised in campaigns,” he said. “Both parties are wrong. We need people whose votes are predicated on the issues, on deep thoughts of what we intend to do for the country and not where someone is encouraged not to vote because of dollars.”
“I think (not bringing campaign finance legislation) was a mistake we made,” Mr Wilchcombe said. “It’s something we should’ve dealt with but what happens is you get elected and you pay no attention to it. Sometimes you make a fundamental mistake. It’s just like this whole thing of gerrymandering and changing boundaries. I don’t agree with that either. It is very obvious that the country must impose a new regime and measures to deal with the financial reform for general elections. We have to put something in place because some things happened that should not have happened.”
Newly elected Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has repeatedly expressed his support for campaign finance legislation and promised that the FNM would enact such legislation if it were elected to office.