The beauty pageant era for selecting candidates to run for the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) is over, according to party chairman Senator Fred Mitchell, as he unveiled a new module for aspiring party candidates Sunday.
During a press conference yesterday at the party’s headquarters, Senator Mitchell said, the process is part of an on-going reform, rebuilding and retooling effort, in response to the demand from party members concerned that the PLP was too often used as an access point for public office by individuals with “blind ambition”.
“We had – as you know – the experience over the last five years of people who essentially participated in a beauty contest,” Mitchell said.
“… you go out, you see someone who looks attractive and that person finds it convenient to align themselves with the PLP for the purpose of getting elected to office and soon after, the person decides that the mandate is their own, not based on the PLP support, and then you have an attack on the party’s organization.
“I think many of the members have gotten really fed up with this and has said that this is something that should not be repeated.”
Under the former Christie administration, Marco City Member of Parliament (MP) Greg Moss, Fort Charlotte MP Andre Rollins and Bamboo Town MP Renward Wells, all left the PLP, seeking other interests. They were initially described as the new generation of leaders in the party, to help bridge the gap between the past and future.
Mitchell said from experience, the party has realized that individuals have used its name to get elected, have no loyalty to it and come to public office with only “naked ambition”.
Individuals seeking nomination he said will have to participate in the course and receive their completion certificates to be considered.
Over the next few days, Mitchell said, the party will host structured lectures on the history of the party, programs and policies, as well as an explanation of the national and institutional functions of the three branches of government.
Following the 2017 General Election, Mitchell said the party has been flooded with requests from individuals looking to run for the party.