The Bahamas main opposition, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) says it has completed its slate of candidates for the next general election and that it is “officially ready to compete” in the polls.
In the last general election, held on May 10, 2017, the then opposition Free National Movement, (FNM) headed by Dr. Hubert Minnis swept the polls, defeating the then ruling PLP by a 35-4 margin.
In March, Prime Minister Minnis rubbished suggestions by the PLP that the country would face an early poll.
“Elections are not due until May of next year. When that changes the Bahamian populace will know,”
Prime Minister Minnis said then, adding that citizens would either be given three weeks, four weeks or six weeks notice.
In a statement, the PLP said that it had selected John Pinder II as the candidate for South Abaco and that he joins a diverse team that will bring expertise to the pressing task of “creating real change” here.
PLP leader, Phillip “Brave” Davis, said that voters are looking for change and value fresh perspectives, adding “a substantial majority of our candidates are new to frontline politics but they all care passionately about our country and have put themselves forward to make a difference.
“They may be new to politics, but they were ratified because of their achievements in other fields. We were looking for strong leaders capable of rolling up their sleeves and making a difference on day one.”
Pinder joins more than two dozen political newcomers to the PLP, in addition to the four incumbents and Davis said the PLP has a “dynamic group of newcomers” who each bring “important talents to the table”.
“I know Bahamians see with the current FNM crowd the very real dangers of incompetence in governance. Having the wrong people in charge over the last few years has really hurt the country and set us back. Our problems got worse, not better. They tried to excuse the Oban scandal as a ‘rookie mistake’. They think they can justify a deal for an oil refinery characterized by secrecy and blundering with an excuse like ‘rookie mistake’?
“What about raising VAT while cutting taxes for the wealthy? Was that a ‘rookie mistake’ too? They were warned that raising VAT would slow economic growth and hurt Bahamian businesses and families. But they did it anyway. It was incompetent and it was wrong,” Davis said accusing the Minnis administration of implementing policies detrimental to the socio-economic well-being of Bahamians.
Davis said it is “time to turn the page, so the country could move forward and address its “most serious problems.
“We’ve put forward an economic plan to create a more dynamic, more diversified, and more inclusive economy, and we have the team to pull it off. Now we just want the PM to ring the bell so we can get to work,” Davis added.