MONIQUE PINDLING, the daughter of former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling, is seeking the Progressive Liberal Party nomination for South Andros in the 2022 election.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
MONIQUE Pindling, the daughter of former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling, has publicly confirmed her bid to be the Progressive Liberal Party’s nominee in the South Andros constituency in the 2022 general election, telling The Tribune she wants to help “fulfil the plan that was laid out for Andros so many years ago”.
Her efforts face significant headwinds since PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell said in March that party leaders want to renominate its four incumbents, including current South Andros MP Picewell Forbes. A 13-year veteran of the House of Assembly, Mr Forbes has repeatedly expressed conviction that he retains the support of his constituents.
Careful to avoid friction or draw comparisons with Mr Forbes, Ms Pindling, 53, said though seeking her party’s nomination has been “challenging”, she still hopes she will be given a fair shot.
“I hope for an opportunity to take my message to the people of the constituency and let them decide,” she told The Tribune.
“If the branches and the people want to continue with the incumbent, I will support that. My reason for doing this is for Andros to finally get the attention it so deserves. Ultimately, the decision lies with leadership to make the process fair for everyone. No one, including myself, is entitled to an automatic nomination.”
“I would actually like to congratulate Mr Forbes on all he has accomplished during his tenure in Andros,” she added. “However, today we find ourselves in likely the toughest times in our country’s history. Bahamians need impactful leadership now more than ever before. As a woman who carries the responsibility of raising the next generation of Bahamians, I see and feel the roadblocks our youth face every day. I fully recognise Androsians need new passion, vitality and a plan. While I am a team player who would welcome a partnership for the sake of the constituency, I believe I am the best way forward for Central & South Andros and Mangrove Cay constituency.”
Ms Pindling said South Andros needs urgent upgrades to its roads, radio and cable services, medical facilities, police and fire facilities, garbage disposal and collection capabilities, airport, wireless and digital connections and water and sewage services.
“The development of its constituencies has been at a crawl resulting in the deterioration of the island’s infrastructure,” she said.
“At the beginning of the year I visited the islands not sure what I was going to find. At the end of the visit, I found that I was inspired, disappointed and overwhelmed all at the same time. Some residents were energetic and hopeful; others were just hopeless,” she added.
Asked what her vision and plans would be for the constituency her father represented for 30 years, she said she wants to spur development that would increase tourism revenue, stimulate agriculture and fisheries production, increase export earnings, produce electrical power and sustain local employment.
She said she envisions an “approximately 12 miles bridge from Behring Point, Big Wood Cay, Little Harbour, Lizbon Creek and Driggs Hill” that connects Central Andros, Mangrove Cay and South Andros.
She said establishing “relationships with international educational institutions, universities, research colleges and centres to serve as training centres for Bahamians” would be a priority, adding: “Elevate the Bahamas past its service-oriented resort and playground of the world to being a place of higher levels of education, intellectual, scientific and academic attainment.”
“Andros is ideal for solar panel files which would reduce energy bills and aid in fighting climate change by reducing greenhouse gases and carbon emissions,” she added.
“The west side of Andros is the capital of ‘mother nature,’ - vast biodiversity can offer a variety of engaging experiences. (Let’s) supply the island with fresh vegetable and fruits; extend production for the country and export; further extend production to eggs, chickens, mutton and beef.”
“My ever-present love for Andros is unwavering,” she said. “It is what drives my desire to properly serve and represent its residents.”