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GIBSON: MITCHELL IS OUT OF ORDER – Shane: I had to work not just fly, have tea and coffee and cigars

Former Cabinet Minister Shane Gibson and PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell.

Former Cabinet Minister Shane Gibson and PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune News Editor

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

SHANE Gibson said Fred Mitchell was “out of order” for saying the pool of candidates eligible for the upcoming West Grand Bahama and Bimini by-election is limited to those the PLP considered in 2021, a restriction the party publicly reversed yesterday when the secretary general announced that qualified candidates include all members in good standing.

“I don’t want to get into a public fight with the chairman,” Mr Gibson said, referring to a comment Mr Mitchell made in a voice note last week that public officials must know when to move on. Mr Mitchell did not name anyone in particular.

“The chairman is 70, I’m 62,” said Mr Gibson. “The results of my ministry is clear. I built 1,500 houses in my first term in office.

“I didn’t have a ministry where I could fly up and down all over the place and that’s my ministry. I had a ministry where I had to actually work, not where I fly, interact, have coffee and tea and drinks and cigars. My ministry is helping people and getting things done.”

 The rare public display of tension between two former PLP Cabinet colleagues comes as the governing party expects to stop accepting applications from potential nominees at midnight tomorrow.

 Although no date has been announced for the by-election, The Tribune understands PLP officials want to choose someone in less than two weeks.

 Chief Passport Officer Kingsley Smith, Jr, confirmed yesterday that he will seek the nomination. Mr Smith applied in 2021 but received little support from constituency branches, which rallied around Obie Wilchcombe, who died unexpectedly last month.

 Another applicant getting buzz is Samuel Brown, 32, a lawyer born and raised in West End whose uncle, Simeon Brown, represented the constituency in the House of Assembly in the 1990s.

 Mr Gibson travelled to Grand Bahama last Thursday to rally support after Mr Wilchcombe’s state funeral.

 Several dozen people in PLP paraphernalia attended a welcoming event for him when he returned to that island yesterday.

 Insiders say Mr Gibson is not the favourite of the PLP’s establishment. Some see him as a polarising figure from the past and fear the general electorate would respond negatively to his return to frontline politics even if he can win the West Grand Bahama and Bimini seat.

 Despite the visible support for him, some insiders also believe PLP supporters would coalesce behind any candidate the party chooses.

 “We have determined that whoever the candidate is, we will support them 100 per cent,” said Kitty Saunders, the PLP’s Bimini constituency association chair. She said she favours Mr Gibson, but her branch has mixed views.

 Mr Gibson sees himself as the people’s choice.

“You could have it two ways,” he told a crowd in Grand Bahama yesterday. “You could either have the party’s choice or the people’s choice, and I am what you call the people’s choice.”

 Mr Gibson told The Tribune residents of the constituency approached him to be their representative. Last year, he told the press he planned to return to frontline politics and hoped to run in the MICAL constituency in the next general election because residents there wanted him.

 Yesterday, he said he has familial and political connections to the West Grand Bahama and Bimini constituency.

 He said his wife was born and raised in Eight Mile Rock, a community he visited often as a trade union leader.

 He said when he toured West Grand Bahama with Mr Wilchcombe after Hurricane Jeanne and Frances devastated the island in 2004, he helped lead efforts to repair people’s homes.

 “Through a by-election, you have an entire machinery who is going to come out there,” he said. “Once that by-election has ended, the only person you have to rely on is that member of parliament to be your voice, so the member of parliament must be somebody who needs minimum supervision, who can get out there and not only get things done but have the respect of people sitting around the table.”

 Mr Gibson said he had not talked to the PLP’s leader, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis, about his nomination bid.

 “The only person I’ve heard talk about this is Fred Mitchell,” he said. “And Fred Mitchell is the same person who told Obie you’re not running and who told the people of West End and Bimini that Obie is not running.

 “It is not surprising that he will now further entrench himself in a position that he tried to entrench himself in two years ago when it was Obie’s time.”

Comments

trueBahamian 6 months, 1 week ago

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GodSpeed 6 months, 1 week ago

Which crook to choose? Decisions, decisions.

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tell_it_like_it_is 6 months, 1 week ago

The PLP will be really foolish to allow Gibson to run. The optics are horrible!!

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hrysippus 6 months, 1 week ago

Shingles Sells, Shingles sells, Shingles on the way. Oh what fun it is to vote, when its now another New Day....Got at least one Prancer involved.

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realfreethinker 6 months, 1 week ago

A train wreck waiting to happen. Leopards don't change their stripes. If brave sanction this shit his ass is gone in the next general election

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bahamianson 6 months, 1 week ago

In my humble opinion, the candidate should be from Grand Bahama. It seems like he just wants to get a spot wherever a spot is available. It is not a good look. The people will decide. I can remember a 90,000 check that was written to him from Nygard. It was all over the news, if I recall. He said Nygard gave him the money for his constituents. If I remember , the check was sent to an American bank, but the constituents live the Bahamas. It didnt look good when a.picture of Anna Nicole and him were taken while she was in bed. Other people have to go to the immigration office. I don't know. I just didnt like seeing all of that. Let the people d3cide.

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DonAnthony 6 months, 1 week ago

Add in the $2.5mill taxpayers paid him for nothing. Treasury is broke but somehow the check cleared quickly for the PLP to take and give Gibson $2.5mill more shingles! These people are grifters, nothing more than parasites feeding off the Bahamian people. Gibson is devoid of shame or decency in trying to run again.

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ExposedU2C 6 months ago

And roly-poly Davis is the numero uno grifter.

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sheeprunner12 6 months, 1 week ago

Shane Gibson is what is called in the USA a carpetbagger ................. he represented a NP constituency that is now held by Pia Glover-Rolle .......... He then said that he wants to be MP for MICAL because his family is from there.

Now, he wants to be MP for WGB/Bimini because his wife is from there????????

This is naked political ambition with NO loyalty to a constituency ......... carpetbagging

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TalRussell 6 months, 1 week ago

A House seatless colleague, --- Begged for his party's nomination, ---  All without success. --- Instructed by his cigar smoking colleague. --- Has been disqualified already. ---And,'tis best for all comrades, if he were to just pack up he bungee pack, so as to 'stay in order' of being clear of Bimini/Freeport.--- Yes?

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themessenger 6 months, 1 week ago

“The results of my ministry is clear. I built 1,500 houses in my first term in office." Reputedly for a consultants fee of $5K per house. Yes Mr. Gibson, your declared worth at the beginning of your first term in office was around $35K, when you demitted office, it was reputed to be around $6 million, the housing construction and consulting business must be extremely lucrative, either that or a lot of shingles were supplied.

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birdiestrachan 6 months, 1 week ago

Mr Mitchell I love you but STOP. you are giving Mr Pintard and the FNM fuel for their burning torch. the FNM editorial. is at it. you see they wright We who are we. Mr Gibson seems to have charisma let it be.

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moncurcool 6 months, 1 week ago

Two individuals who need to go off into the sunset.

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ted4bz 6 months, 1 week ago

If I was a pretender I'd be one of these fake politicians too, because all they do is fight amongst themselves then come out in the public looking all smiley, happy, holy and jolly with one another.

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Engineer 6 months, 1 week ago

Shame Gibson is not a good fit to follow in Obie Wilchcombe's impressive foot steps. Remember Nygard and the Anna Nicole foolishness. Shame Gibson and Fred Mitchell need to fade away.

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ExposedU2C 6 months ago

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