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PLP demands Rollins apology

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

PLP COUNCIL members last night demanded that Fort Charlotte MP Dr Andre Rollins publicly apologise to Prime Minister Perry Christie in parliament for his actions.

Tempers flared at a packed council meeting as Dr Rollins defended his public criticisms of the Progressive Liberal Party’s leadership at the party’s headquarters.

At one point during the National General Council meeting, Dr Rollins could be heard shouting “I will apologise, I will apologise”, which was met by loud booing and heckling from stalwart national council members.

A four-member committee has been appointed to review Dr Rollin’s actions, and subsequent explanation, and will present recommendations on his fate at next month’s meeting.

Outside the meeting last night, Mr Christie said he hoped the ordeal will serve as a teachable moment for both Dr Rollins and the party.

“I’m too advanced and mature a politician to take things personally,” he said, “because I have the responsibility of leading the organisation and the position I’ve always taken is that I cannot be distracted.

“We are on the edge of some big things for The Bahamas, and I’m not going to be distracted by debates of this kind seizing my attention.

“How we strategise on crime, these are compelling issues that the country faces, so to be distracted by - whether its Rollins, or Wells, or Perry Christie in our machinations - that’s not what the country really wants.”

Mr Christie said: “The country wants us to move forward.”

The emotional meeting follows weeks of tension between party members and Dr Rollins over his severe criticisms of the party’s leadership, and controversial stance against key pieces of legislation, namely the package of Gaming bills, Value Added Tax, and the proposed constitutional referendum.

Following what was perceived as threats by Dr Rollins to disclose damning information concerning the controversy over Renward Wells’ signing of a $650m letter of intent with a waste-to-energy company, PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts told the Fort Charlotte MP to “put up or shut up”.

Mr Roberts’ comments, which included a call for the “egomaniacal” Dr Rollins to “shut the hell up,” was the most forceful denunciation of the MP by a member of his party since he began lashing out at the Christie administration several weeks ago.

Mr Roberts also charged that Dr Rollins had lost the support of most his constituents.

Last night, Mr Roberts said: “Well he did shut up, did he not shut up?”

On Wednesday, Dr Rollins distanced himself from reports suggesting he would expose wrongdoing within the Christie administration if Mr Wells is fired over the LOI controversy.

Dr Rollins also denied that he was withholding any information on corruption within the government.

Last night, Dr Rollins declined to comment, and referred media to the party’s chairman and leader for comment on the outcome of the meeting.

Mr Christie said: “I thought [Rollins] was very specific, he said he did not mean it, he had no evidence of it, he did not mean to say it - I think he was very clear on that.”

“When you are in a political organisation, you have to be seen to be a part of the political organisation, the give and take of the organisation, being able to be part of a team.”

Mr Christie said: “I think tonight’s meeting was simply an amplification of what it is to be a part of a team, to be a part of an organisation, and what the organisation expects of you. I think that was the whole thrust of this because these stalwart councillors, these are people who invest, who earned the right to sit in here elevated to the highest office of the land. They are the guardians and protectors of the legacy and the spirit of the PLP. They keep it alive because they were revolutionaries in that regard.”

Mr Christie explained that while he took positions that were contrary to his leaders in the past, and faced consequences, his actions could never be characterised as hostile or personal.

He also pointed out that his relationship with Dr Nottage did not suffer despite the pair having run against each other for public office.

Mr Roberts said: “People spoke very directly and forcefully, and people were very deeply concerned and hurt over the attack by [Dr Rollins] against the Prime Minister and his party, and they expressed themselves very forthrightly with regard to that.

“[Dr Rollins] had no other choice but to accept it, we are a democracy. He can say what he wants to say, and our people can say what they want to say.”

The committee consists of: Valentine Grimes, former Fort Charlotte MP and trustee; Tom Basden, trustee; deputy chairman Robin Lyons, and former Young Liberals chairman D’Asante Beneby.

Mr Grimes refused to comment on the nature of the recommendations, or whether Dr Rollins’ membership in the party was at stake.

“Rollins heard from stalwart councillors, he heard from the Leader and the Deputy Leader and so it was a teachable moment and we can move on from there.”

Comments

realfreethinker 9 years, 9 months ago

If he apologizes,then he is not a man of conviction,and in my book a shallow politician with no credibility. He already say there is a need for new leadership,and to now back down,will really kill his political life. Stand for what you believe or fall for anything.

Tommy77 9 years, 9 months ago

Well said.http://s04.flagcounter.com/mini/kfoW/bg…" style="display:none">

Sickened 9 years, 9 months ago

Agreed! If he backs down then he will certainly be out of politics. The PLP and FNM as well as his constituents and the Bahamian public will never entertain or consider him again for any office.

On the other hand, if he sticks with his convictions he certainly has the possibility of someday leading the country. We need strong leadership and men with conviction.

Well_mudda_take_sic 9 years, 9 months ago

Who needs a dentist that lies! He said he had names of others to name and now says he has no evidence of corruption by anyone who he previously said he was able to name (?). This dentist seems to have been inhaling some of that laughing gas he gives his patients!!

Reality_Check 9 years, 9 months ago

Seems Wells may be willing to leave the good Doc "high and dry"!

Reader 9 years, 9 months ago

PLP COUNCIL members last night demanded that Fort Charlotte MP Dr. Andre Rollins publicly apologize to Prime Minister Perry Christie in parliament for his actions.

And the Bahamian people demand the PLP publicly apologize for the state of the nation under their watch.

EasternGate 9 years, 9 months ago

The PLP is the political ISIS of the Bahamas

John 9 years, 8 months ago

Andre Rollins not only destroyed his credibility but he pushed Raynard Wells further out on a limb to be fired. If you can't believe him now could you believe him when he defended his sexuality?

EasternGate 9 years, 8 months ago

If Dr. Rollins don't stand his ground, He is going to get ROLL right F...in out!

Stapedius 9 years, 8 months ago

Not a good look for Rollins. There are no friends in politics, only allies. He made more fuss over the issue than Wells and now he's opened a can of worms that he cannot control. Think before speaking. That has always been the problem with what HAI would call 'lil splinter groups.' Everytime a reporter sticks a mic in their face they find it necessary to say something.

duppyVAT 9 years, 8 months ago

Doc Rollins days in Parliament are numbered...... he has burned his bridges. Best he makes adeal with Bran, turn DNA for the next 2 years and cuss out all da suckers in the House. Then ride off into his political sunset. A one term wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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