Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has confided that he will not be exiting public life before the 2023 general election despite previously stating that he would not be doing so.
During the campaign for the 2018 general election Mitchell, who is at the helm of the ruling New National Party (NNP), then indicated that he will not contest another general election, however, in an interview on Thursday – approximately two years before the election is constitutionally due, the Prime Minister said that he has had to change his plans about handing over leadership.
“A decision has been made, I would have preferred not to have but there are rationales based on my own colleagues’ views and general perceptions that the right time will have to be after the next election to hand over the reigns to someone. So, it looks likely, highly likely that I will certainly run, unless I have some health issues or physical problem,” said Mitchell who has served in the Parliament for almost four decades.
The Prime Minister will celebrate his 75th birth in November.
The NNP, which is currently in the process of identifying caretakers, was returned to office in the last election with voters giving majority support to the NNP candidates. All 15 constituency seats were won by the NNP candidates.
As a result, there was not an official opposition in Lower House of Parliament until Tobias Clement who represents the constituency of St George’s North East crossed the floor and became the Leader of the Opposition.
That constituency is one in which the NNP must appoint a new caretaker.
The other constituency will be St Patrick West because Anthony Boatswain who currently represents that constituency has also indicated that he will not contest another election.