“At the end of the day, you could only take so much”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Mangrove Cay and South and Central Andros MP Picewell Forbes said he decided to “walk away” from politics after he failed to receive the proper support from the leadership of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).
Forbes announced in Parliament today that he will not be running for office in the upcoming general election and intends to quit politics altogether.
“Today, I stand, Mr Speaker, to take my last political breath. My name would never rise again in political cycles. My work is done politically,” Forbes said.
“Mr Speaker, but as I leave, going forward, it would be my sincerest hope that we as a fledgling society would uphold the law against discrimination in hiring, in housing, rental assistance and social welfare, educational options and in the criminal justice system.”
As he exited the House chambers, Forbes was greeted with a standing ovation, hits on the desks and hugs from government MPs, but he did not get the same warm reception from his party colleagues.
Eyewitness News understands those MPs were taken by surprise by the announcement.
Speaking to reporters in the foyer of the House, Forbes said he made the decision days after visiting Andros and speaking to residents on the ground.
“Every other house you go to, the questions are being asked: Are you running? How many more persons do the PLP want to put on the ground against you? When is this issue getting cleared up?” he said.
“…After all the questions in Mangrove Cay last week, when you were giving it your best from your mega resources and all these questions are still abound after all these years…after some discussion and prayers from my family, I said farewell.”
Forbes said he would not have ultimately made the decision had he seen more “confidence” from the leadership of the PLP.
“Just to simply go on the ground in the community and just support me, simple, and simply give a nomination, that’s all it is,” he said.
“We had heard that the four incumbents were guaranteed, but it’s still all this discussion about it.
“There were certain persons who were calling prominent persons in our society, who continued to call stalwart counselors and continued to dig into the matter and it just became so much of a drag.
“As a proud Androsian, I decided it’s best to walk away.”
Asked whether he had any reason to believe the party’s leadership was giving support to other aspiring candidates on the ground, Forbes said: “I have my news about some things. I wouldn’t go any further. I walk away with dignity.
“I just want to complete my legal studies now, by May, and I’ll be able to walk away with pride.
“…Maybe one day I will rise in the sunset… It’s sad to walk away like this, but at the end of the day, you could only take so much.”
Forbes added that despite his decision, he will remain a member of the PLP.
“It’s a very emotional moment for me right now. I’m a PLP, no matter what. Some things have got to stay inside [the party], but I just wanted to clear the air.
“…If there’s an uncertainty that maybe I’m causing some problem and draw on the process, let me get out of the way. I’ve gotta be the bigger man. As a senior man, I’ve gotta be the bigger man and I decided to walk away.”
Pressed on whether he will also be resigning from his Parliamentary seat, Forbes said: “I’ll take some things under due consideration and I’ll make that decision.”
If he decides to resign from his seat as Mangrove Cay and South and Central Andros MP, the prime minister will be forced to call a by-election.