Statement from PLP’s National Chairman Responding to Freeport News’ Editorial, ‘Trouble in GB West PLP Camp

The editorial of The Freeport NewsonWednesday, June 5 indicates there is trouble for the PLP in West Grand Bahama. They based this on rumours that emanated from a public meeting, May 31 in West End. I stress public meeting because my statements were recorded and published and the Freeport News was free to come to the meeting but was not there.

The PLP cannot stop a newspaper from characterizing a meeting any way it wishes but we can provide you with the facts. Both the Leader and myself were invited to explain in person the procedures for nominations in the PLP. The meeting included branch members from across the island and was not confined to the West Grand Bahama seat.

Here is what was communicated.

The National General Council of the PLP made a decision that only those who were elected to the House of Assembly in 2017 can describe themselves as incumbents and will have no opponents within the party for a nomination for public office in the seats they now occupy. Every other seat is vacant and is open to a competition.

These rules have been in the public domain for over a year. They are agreed rules and there are no exceptions.

The local Branches have the first say in recommending their candidate in their constituency. We have indicated to all Branch chairs that in this litigious era, all branches have a duty to act fairly and must give everyone who follows the rules a fair opportunity to be reviewed and to compete before making a recommendation.

The process begins with each potential candidate having to go through the candidates module or course. Once you go through that and get the certificate of participation, then you are qualified to apply. If you do not have it, then you are not qualified to apply for the nomination.

Next the potential candidate has to write the Secretary General to say they wish to compete for the nomination. There is a form which has to be completed and is available at PLP HQ and on line.

Once the Secretary General has decided that the person is fit and proper, a letter is written to the Branch to ask them to review the potential candidate. That process of review by the branches will likely take some 12 months.

No one is permitted to use the party symbols without formal written permission.

There is only one person thus far in West Grand Bahama who has permission to canvas. The process is open and transparent.

As you know the seats in Grand Bahama are multi island and multi settlement so in a number of constituencies that have more than one branch, the branches there will have to seek to make a common recommendation.

Change is often difficult to accept or fathom. Public meetings are sometimes spirited. Harsh words may be said but that does not mean trouble. It simply means the democracy is alive.

We have miles to go before we sleep, says the poet. It is my hope that you will publish these facts along side any commentary because out of fairness, you ought put things as we see it.

Thank you.

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