Remarks by FNM Leader the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham [R]- Confirmation of Dr. Duane Sands [L] as Elizabeth’s by-election candidate:
THE LEADER: I am very pleased that the FNM Central Council has this evening ratified and confirmed the selection of Dr. Duane E. Sands as the standard bearer for the FNM in the upcoming by-election to fill the Elizabeth Constituency seat in the House of Assembly.
As many of you will know, Dr. Sands is Chairman of the Bahamas Medical Council and a Director of the Central Bank of the Bahamas.
He previously served as Director of the Public Hospitals Authority, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Member of the Board of Directors of Doctors Hospital, and Director of Physicians Alliance Ltd.
The FNM is a large tent which seeks out and welcomes talent from every segment of our population.
We have been particularly interested in identifying and attracting to our party talented, experienced and dedicated individuals who share our vision for a better Bahamas, who subscribe to our philosophy of responsible, accountable government and who are committed to giving national service.
Duane is of that breed and of the calibre of the outstanding candidates that we in the FNM offered to the Bahamian people in May 2007 general election and in our selection of Government Senators.
When elected, Duane will join others on our team in the House and in the Senate – some of the best and brightest of our country — who can be trusted to look after the best interest of the people.
Indeed, he is representative of a new generation of successful Bahamian professionals who are eager to give back to our country and who have identified with the FNM’s vision for good governance and progressive development.
Duane was educated at some of the best universities in the United States — Tufts University in Massachusetts, and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland.
Dr Sands could have pursued a medical career anywhere in the world. But he chose to return home to pursue a distinguished career in service of the Bahamian people, which he began at the Princess Margaret Hospital as a consultant physician.
He contributed significantly to the upgrade of the Accident and Emergency Department at PMH where he served as Director. Since 2007 he has served as the Hospital’s Chief of Surgery.
Dr. Sands is widely regarded in medical circles at home and abroad as an extraordinary doctor and talented surgeon. His record suggests that he has strong, capable hands in the surgical theatre.
He has been keenly interested in the affairs of his country beyond his profession, and he has a reputation as a Bahamian gentleman and as an active citizen with a keen interest in public policy.
We know that he will apply that same care and attention to Elizabeth as he has to countless Bahamians for whom he has provided care and healing, including those seeking his assistance in the operating theatre.
We know that he will apply his keen intellect and broad knowledge for the benefit of the people of Elizabeth and the Bahamas and that he will contribute much to the fulfillment of the vision of our party and Government for the orderly development of our country.
Trust me; Elizabeth will be safe in Duane’s hands.
I take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Duane’s wife, Sakina, and their four children: Adrienne, Brandon, Nicholas and Mila, for agreeing to their husband and father making his services available to our Free National Movement and to our Government.
My Dear Friends:
You have heard a chorus of confusion from Opposition quarters ever since the resignation which precipitated this by-election. That is not surprising since confusion has been their hallmark for quite some time now.
In due course we will sweep up all the debris they are attempting to strew in our path and dispose of all the smoke and mirrors they are using in an attempt to confuse the Bahamian public.
But for now I should like to deal very briefly with their latest desperate gambit. They started by saying we should not have this by-election at all.
Well, the FNM did not precipitate this election. It was due to the confusion and disaffection in their own ranks and a failure of leadership on their part that we are having this by-election at this time.
If a Member of Parliament decides to resign his seat – for whatever reason — there is nothing the Government nor anyone else can do about that.
The people of Elizabeth are entitled to have a voice in parliament. We therefore intend to make sure that all the relevant agencies of the state follow the law and the Constitution of our land by proceeding to a by-election.
Now they are complaining about delay in the process. I would have thought that they would welcome having time for qualified persons who may not now be registered to do so.
I wish to assure the Bahamian people and particularly the people in Elizabeth that the by-election will proceed according to law.
I have confidence in the Bahamian professionals who are in charge of the process and for our part we will do everything we can to ensure that the election is clean and in accordance with the law.
Our candidate and our party will execute a vigorous and thorough campaign. But we will not be led into the gutter along with the Opposition leadership.
At the end of the day we are confident that the people of Elizabeth will pay attention to the real issues and that our candidate, Dr. Duane Sands, will be given the mandate to represent them in them in parliament.
Remarks by Elizabeth Candidate Dr. Duane Sands:
DR. SANDS: With great enthusiasm and gratitude in my heart, I accept your nomination as the Free National Movement’s candidate for the Elizabeth Constituency in the House of Assembly in the upcoming by-election.
In so doing, I thank the members of the Elizabeth Constituency Association who overwhelmingly supported my selection, and I thank the Central Council for ratifying and confirming the choice of the people of the constituency.
I also thank Party Leader Hubert Ingraham and other members of our dynamic FNM team for the confidence you have reposed in me, not only to win Elizabeth, but also to become a standard bearer for the ideals which our torch represents: opportunity, freedom, equality and good governance.
And, of course I thank my wife, children, and other family members and friends without whom I could not embark on the journey which I am about to begin; a journey on which I know I will need God’s guidance and your prayers.
I promise tonight, to the people of Elizabeth and the wider Bahamian public, that I will seek to bring to the halls of Parliament the same public service and professional duty that I have dedicated my life to as a medical doctor and as a citizen.
I promise Elizabeth and the Bahamas that if elected I will continue to give my best in your service.
I ask your prayers and active support in our campaign and for the future.