Showdown set between Mitchell and Wilchcombe at convention
While maintaining a message of unity and discouraging a leadership race over the last few weeks ahead of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) national convention set to begin today, PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis last night announced that the time to challenge is now, and whoever wishes to run for any position within the organization should do so.
“There have been questions about the race for chairman of the party,” Davis said.
“I say here, what I have been saying to fellow PLPs: Whoever wants to run for any position should run.
“This is the time to sort these kinds of things out.
“I feel very good about the current team’s forward momentum, but if Obie [Wilchcombe] wants to make an argument about why he should be chairman, he should do so.
“He came to ask me about running, and I told him I don’t see that he has the support.
“But if he sees things differently, no one is standing in his way.
“We are looking forward to an exciting and productive convention.
“Bahamians are going to see a party that is filled with purpose and energy.
“It is our hope that our call to action is heard far and wide, as we invited all citizens to join the movement and contribute to building a better Bahamas.”
Wilchcombe, who served as PLP chairman from 1993 to 2000, will go up against incumbent chairman, Senator Fred Mitchel.
During an appearance of ILTV’s ‘Beyond the Headlines’ with host Clint Watson, Wilchcombe announced his intention to make a second bid for chairman of the PLP, a decision he said was borne of the people whose voices he could ignore.
While expressing support for Davis and PLP Deputy Leader Chester Cooper to retain the top two posts in the party, Wilchcombe said a race at any level of the party is not divisive.
The former member of Parliament and Cabinet minister said he will work tirelessly to help shape the party and its message to put it in the best possible position to regain the support and confidence of the people.
Mitchell, who has echoed the called for unity made by Davis, said this week that PLPs must unit.
Last night, Davis said the party has approached its work to reinvigorate the PLP with a sense of urgency, insisting The Bahamas needs strong, inclusive, and forward-looking leadership that stands for the people.
Noting the importance of recruiting new voices, energy and ideas, Davis said the PLP has made great strides in establishing new reforms that will transform the way the party recruits and selects candidates.
As it relates to the party’s constitution, which it has sought to reform, Davis said there is a critical need to strengthen the role of women and young people in the party.
“We have been preparing the path for a new platform, because on too many fronts, The Bahamas is stuck, and needs new, innovative people-first policies,” he said.
“We are holding our third convention in two years, because bringing people together is important when there’s a lot of work to be done.
“All of this work is important because renewing the PLP means building a party that is ready to govern; ready to stand up for Bahamians; ready to tackle our nation’s most urgent problems.”
As of 3 p.m. yesterday, over 1,500 delegates had registered for the convention.
Registered closes at 4 p.m., according to PLP Convention Committee Chairman Michael Halkitis.
Nomination will begin today at 10 a.m.
It has yet to be seen if anyone will challenge Davis or Cooper.