The Progressive Liberal Party ratified 12 candidates for the next general election at Faith United Missionary Church. Photo: Donavan McIntosh
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
THE Progressive Liberal Party ratified 13 candidates for the next general election last night – including Senator Dr Michael Darville in the Tall Pines constituency, but not long-time representative Leslie Miller.
Though Dr Darville’s ratification was expected, it will prompt questions about Mr Miller’s political future given the public campaign he waged for the nomination.
Mr Miller, who did not answer calls seeking comment yesterday, has repeatedly said he would run as an independent candidate if the PLP denies him a nomination.
“No one can stop me from running,” he said last month. “Who is going to stop me? I am with my people and they are with me and that’s all I can tell you.
“If I was to run independent, I will win.”
PLP officials, nonetheless, have been expressing increasing confidence that an independent run from the outspoken politician will be prevented, with some noting Mr Miller enjoys a strong relationship with Dr Darville.
Yesterday’s ratification exercise resembled pre-pandemic political events, with hundreds gathering at the Faith United Missionary Church off Baillou Hill Road, often with little social distancing.
The event came as both major political parties face criticism about their adherence to COVID-19 rules.
In addition to Dr Darville, the ratified candidates included the four incumbents: party leader Philip “Brave” Davis in Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador, deputy leader Chester Cooper in Exuma, Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin and Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller, who left the Free National Movement last year and joined the PLP.
The candidates ratified last night also included former ZNS anchor Chris Saunders in St Anne’s, Kirk Cornish in North Abaco, Myles Laroda in Pinewood, Pia Glover-Rolle in Golden Gates, Sylvanus Petty in North Eleuthera, Lisa Rahming in Marathon, Leroy Major in Southern Shores and Clay Sweeting in South Eleuthera.
Yesterday’s exercise answered questions about Vaughn Miller’s future in the PLP.
Some PLP supporters in Golden Isles campaigned for him to be denied a nomination and even signed a petition calling for his rejection.
Yesterday, Mr Miller told reporters he believes he has won over some of his critics.
“There (was) some challenges in the branch and the constituency,” he acknowledged. “It’s expected and we handled it well.”
He added: “It’s an honour, it’s a privilege to serve, particularly with the oldest political party in the history of this country.”
“We certainly want to finish the vision. It’s all about empowering the people. People are hurting, people are challenged, people are really going through some difficult and some challenging times. Obviously the first order of the day is to restore the economy and restore hope in the lives of people because so many people have lost hope.”
The PLP has now ratified 31 candidates for the election.
“Bahamian people continue to call out in suffering in the midst of the Minnis administration’s mistakes and mismanagement of the hardest times in recent Bahamian history,” the party said in a statement.
“No longer should Bahamians – young and old – be forced to suffer in silence with no urgency from a government that defends the status quo.
“These candidates are ready to be the representatives of the country and the party holds fast that it will become the next government of The Bahamas.”