Nassau, Bahamas – Over the past several months Bahamians have been introduced to the party’s impressive slate of candidates comprised of some of the best and brightest in the world of finance, business, law, law enforcement, healthcare, labour and civil society. Each individual has proven themselves to be a leader in their respective disciplines and have been assigned to specific portfolios based on those abilities. Outside of the role of the Attorney General which, under the DNA will be an independently selected Bahamian chosen from civil society and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, members of the Shadow Cabinet as outlined will speak to the issues plaguing their specific portfolios, offering not just an opposing view but a glimpse into how a DNA government will – in the short, medium and long term – reverse some of the distressing trends which have emerged in our 21st century Bahamas.
Party Leader Branville McCartney will lead the DNA cabinet as the Minister of National Security & Immigration ending the trend set by successive PM’s who have taken on the role of Minister of Finance. Serving with Mr. McCartney in the Ministry of National Security and Immigration will be former police officer and long-time security specialist Stephen Greenslade, whose emphasis will be on the eradication of corruption within government. The issues of crime, corruption and illegal migration are three of the country’s most pressing issues and therefore require the full attention and oversight of the Prime Minister. Having previously served as the Minister of Immigration, Mr. McCartney’s record precedes him while Mr. Greenslade’s successes in private security over many decades are among the most unrivaled in the country. The Minister of Finance will be filled by one of the country’s most talented financial minds in the person of Youri Kemp. Arinthia Komolafe and Brenda Harris, experts in this particular field, will fill the post for Financial Services, Trade & Investment and National Insurance.
Deputy Leader Christopher Mortimer who has led the way in the creation of the DNA’s well thought out energy strategy will serve as the Shadow Minister of Works and Energy. Already Mr. Mortimer has been vocal about the party’s plans to end our current energy crisis and to transform the New Providence landfill which has continued to threaten the quality of life for residents in New Providence. Working hand in hand with the portfolio of energy is the Environment and Natural Resources for which Candace Weatherford will assume responsibility. As an avid proponent of alternative energy sources, Mrs. Weatherford has committed much of her recent adult life to finding ways of decreasing her personal carbon footprint and is eager to put forward policy positions which can ensure that the Bahamas is able to do the same at a national level
Leading the charge on Education is a man who has spent years as an educator. As president of the College of the Bahamas Dr. Leon Higgs played a key role in plans to expand the College’s Northern Campus, and also oversaw improvements to the overall student registration process. Having served at multiple levels of our education system he is without question the perfect choice to speak to the need for dramatic change to our systems of learning. Mr. Samuel Strachan will head the Ministry of Information and Technology which core purpose would be to move all government IT infrastructure under one umbrella.
Perhaps best known for his involvement in youth and sports development sports anchor Gerrino Saunders will assume the role of DNA spokesperson on those issues from the Shadow Cabinet level. While separated from its traditionally accepted spot alongside these two portfolios, a DNA Cabinet is prepared to give special attention to the issue of Culture. Emily Williams brings to the table years of success as secular music artist, a gospel artist, and a writer on both the local and international stages. Celi Moss brings an equally impressive resume as a filmmaker, director and producer. Together these two will work to ensure that Bahamian are not only able to produce quality work but earn at the level of their regional and international counterparts.
Overseeing issues relative to Small Business Development and Innovation are two individuals who themselves have successfully navigated the pitfalls of the current economic climate to own and operate their own small businesses. Both Lincoln Bain & Claire Basden will act as the party’s voices on the many challenges facing entrepreneurs and the lack of ease in doing business within this jurisdiction. On the flip side, the DNA has tapped veteran unionist Leslie Lightbourne to speak on issues which affect the country’s working class ranging from unfair treatment and the need for living wage increases to training opportunities in both the private and public sector as well.
This leads us to the DNA’s Shadow Cabinet appointment of Ruth Flowers as spokesperson on the Public Service. A long time employee of the public service Mrs. Flowers has served in both line staff and management roles within the public sector and brings with her a unique sensibility about the issues affecting workers on all fronts. Bahamians can expect her to detail the DNA’s plans on addressing the perceived ineffectiveness of the public service, wastage within government and other key areas as well.
With a combined experience of over 30 years in the aviation industry Randy Butler and Buscheme Armbrister will serve Shadow Cabinet positions in the Ministry of Transport and Aviation.
On the tourism front Cindy Coakley-Knowles brings a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to her Shadow Cabinet position in the Ministry of Tourism. Having received multiple certifications from the likes of Cornell University she represents a pair of fresh eyes in the process of reestablishing the Bahamas’ tourism brand as the best in the world. She is joined in this role by Stephanie Lightbourne who herself, has trained some of the brightest voices in tourism today. Bahamians can expect Stephanie to bring her insight to bear on issues relative to training, growth and eventual ownership within the tourism sector.
On the issues of Agriculture and Fisheries, Kendal Smith and Derek Smith have been tapped to represent the country’s interests while Dr. Madlene Sawyer will assume responsibility for matters relative to healthcare. When the DNA is elected as the next government she will make history by become the country’s first female Minister of Health.
On matters of Family Island Development and Local Government, Rudolph Dean has been selected as the DNA Shadow Minister and will shed light on the need to bring 21st century solutions to the issues which make island living challenging for family island residents including access to government services, employment and of course proper oversight of local government systems.
In the Nation’s second city Nevar Smith, the DNA’s youngest candidate will speak to issues arising out of the Ministry of Grand Bahama. Though created as a vehicle by which the government could address issues specific to the needs of the island and its residents, the Ministry of GB is in dire need of an overhaul to remove the red tape and bureaucracy which has stifled it.
Last but not least are the all too important issues relative to Social Services, Family and Gender Affairs. This positions will be filled by Prodesta Moore and Charlis Robins both of whom have spent their professional careers advocating for the rights of women and families and bringing assistance to those in need.
This group of patriotic Bahamians is qualified non career politicians whose main goal is to bring effective transparent and accountable governance to the people of this country. In the coming weeks and days Bahamians will be able to see, hear and feel the DNA in a way that speaks to their needs at every level and through the voting public will usher in a new era of governance in our Bahamas.