Sands needs to run in a safe seat

EDITOR, The Tribune.

I WOULD like to extend belated congratulations to Dr Duane Sands on retaining the post of chairman of the Free National Movement in the recent National Convention in New Providence. It was an impressive showing on the part of Sands, who shrewdly tied his chairmanship campaign to FNM leader Michael Pintard. FNM delegates obviously feel comfortable with him as chairperson of their great political organisation. Now that the leadership question has been finally settled, the hard part begins for Sands, assuming he is aspiring to re-enter the House of Assembly. If so, Sands should not run again in the Progressive Liberal Party stronghold of Elizabeth, whose current MP Jobeth Coleby-Davis has become a PLP heavyweight in the two-plus years she’s been there.

It will not be easy unseating her in that area. Sands knows firsthand how difficult it is to win in Elizabeth. Sands has contested Elizabeth four times, in 2010, 2012, 2017 and 2021; winning just once. His success rate in Elizabeth is a paltry 25 percent. In a May 2017 Tribune article about the contest for Elizabeth between Sands and the PLP standard bearer Alex Storr, several voters expressed their dissatisfaction with former MP Ryan Pinder, whom they accused of abandoning their constituency after he landed a lucrative job in the private sector in 2014. He resigned as financial services minister in the Christie administration. Yet despite this, one elderly voter stated that she’ll vote for Mr Storr with the hope he would perform better than Pinder. Yes, Sands was able to win in 2017. But that particular election was an outlier for both the PLP and the FNM.

That was the first general election in which a sitting Prime minister lost his seat. We might never see something like that again. I would suggest running in a safer area like Yamacraw or Free Town. Nothing stands out about the two particular representatives in these constituencies. Sands, I believe, stands a much better chance of winning in Free Town or Yamacraw than in the PLP bastion Elizabeth. Winning would help to solidify his political career. Running in Elizabeth again presents a huge risk for the FNM chairman.


Freeport, Grand Bahama 

June 19 2024.


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