FIRE MEETS FIRE as PLP Convention fight heats up!

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<<< PLP former chairman Raynard Rigby. [File Photo]

By CANDIA DAMES ~ Guardian News Editor ~ candia@nasguard.com:

Citing potential conflicts, former Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Raynard Rigby is calling on West End and Bimini MP Obie Wilchcombe — a PLP deputy hopeful — to step down as chairman of the party’s upcoming fall convention.

But Wilchcombe hit back saying, “I think Mr. Raynard Rigby is trying to sacrifice the party for some personal interest or some agenda that he might be on.”

Rigby told The Nassau Guardian he had written to PLP Chairman Glenys Hanna-Martin, communicating his view that in light of Wilchcombe’s declaration that he intends to run for the post of deputy leader at the convention, he should not serve as convention chairman.glenys-hanna-martin-engleston.jpg

“I think that the party has to recognize that the race for the deputy leadership is likely to be a hotly contested race, and in our history, we know that sometimes when these races get at their full extent that the nature of the campaign is not at a level which we would normally expect,” Rigby said.

“…The view generally is that by virtue of that position (campaign chairman) he will have access to delegates. He will have access to some decision making about the convention which may undermine the integrity of the electoral process. It would in my view not give the appearance that the process is fair and transparent and therefore I think that as a political organization, we want to ensure that all candidates are on the same level- playing field, that there is a very high degree of independence of transparency of the process and that we ensure that the electoral process has the highest level of accountability and integrity as possible.”

Rigby said he was sure there were others who share his concerns and who want Wilchcombe not to have a direct role in the running of the convention.

img_34882“One wouldn’t expect that the parliamentary commissioner who has the legislative authority to conduct elections would also be running in those elections,” he said. “And so, these are some internal housekeeping matters which the chairman of the party has to address and I have all confidence that she will do so rightly and swiftly.”

Responding to Rigby’s concerns, Wilchcombe said he found his comments unfortunate.

“What’s unfortunate about it is the former chairman was also (party) chairman when he was convention chairman and was running for office. So some things are simply not worth debating because the truth is we discussed this at the Leadership Council level and at the National General Council level,” Wilchcombe said.

“We’re appointed by the National General Council. We (the convention committee) don’t have anything to do with the elections. That’s handled by the trustees of the party. What we bring is the logistical organization, the aesthetic organization to ensure that we are presenting a convention that’s focused; that our message and our messengers are the right ones and that we have a convention that is appealing, that has all the ingredients to ensure that more and more Bahamians would want to watch and be a part of the Progressive Liberal Party.”

Wilchcombe said Rigby’s statements were just another effort to distract from efforts to get the party on the right track.

“I would only step down as chair if the leader or if the chairman asks me to,” he added. “There is no reason to… In fact, I’m doing myself a disservice by not focusing only on my campaign, but what’s important though is to ensure that our convention is a great convention. Our party must always have its best convention. That’s what I want to make sure of and so I’m not going to find myself sacrificing my party for myself and my personal interest.”

Wilchcombe asked whether Rigby was questioning the integrity of the Leadership Council and the National General Council.

“He ought to reconsider because all these bodies are responsible for the national convention. All these bodies are responsible for ensuring that our convention and our elections are run with integrity and all have done so over the many years,” Wilchcombe said. “I find it very questionable why today he’d wish to question their integrity.”

He said his integrity as convention chairman is also unquestioned.

“In fact, I was called in to chair the last convention when he (Rigby) was chairman of the party simply because it had gone awry,” Wilchcombe said. “So the truth is, my record speaks for itself.”

He noted that while serving as national chairman and convention chairman in 2000, he lost his bid for re-election to former MP Bradley Roberts.

Asked to comment on Rigby’s concerns, Hanna-Martin said: “Mr. Rigby served as chairman for five years so he’s very aware of the organs in our party in which matters of this nature are discussed. In fact, this issue was discussed in the appropriate forum in our party and I’m not prepared to discuss the issue in the newspapers.”

Monday, August 31, 2009

12 COMMENTS

  1. I read the story yesterday and today’s story about Rigby and Obie I agree with him 150%. I am a die hard PLP and a stalwart and I know that Rigby did not cause the PLP to lose the election. Rigby is still a PLP. He comes to Council meetings all the time. He is just as much PLP as I am. And I agree that Obie should not be in charge of the Convention. In fact, I am not supporting Obie. I am voting for Braev Davis.
    The Bahamian people must grow up and realise that Rigby is of a new generation and will speak his mind. I support that.

  2. Altec :@Russell JohnsonI agree with you Russ.
    What irked me about Raynard is how he acted as if he had nothing to do with the defeat of the PLP in 2002. The way he was pointing fingers at everyone else and never included himself rubbed me the wrong way.
    But as it related to Obie, Rigby is right. Obie has a cloud of suspicion regarding the Trvolta’s case and if he had any shame he wouldnt throw his name in the hat for anything until that case is cleared up.
    I hope he looses.
    [Reply]

    Just maybe Obie knows he did NOTHING wrong!!! But I agree with you about Rigby.. I thought that Rigby had left the PLP but if he still is a PLP he has much spite in his heart for those who pushed him out… Also I don’t support Obie for deputy leader because I don’t TRUST him!!!!

  3. Man this is foolish blaming Rigby for the PLP loss when it was Christie and the Cabinet. Rigby has balls to challenge Christie now Obie. Obie should resign, any idiot can see that.

  4. Rigby is the ultimate opportunist. He’s smug and low. I am not an Obie fan at all, but atleast he is there in the good and bad. I wasn’t even sure Rigby was still a PLP. I wonder what Brave has promised him?

  5. Johnny Tucker :
    I want you young guys to take this party over man but for the last 3 years only a few of you have done your home work; just a few.
    [Reply]

    Thats why Paul Moss will get his butt handed to him if he runs against PC for the leadership. You cant just show up and seek leadership you have to lay the ground work, till the soil and have some kind of track record and build a relationship with people. PC has done this already, Paul Moss hasnt.

  6. Raynard caused some of this sh–t himself. During the PLP’S 5 years in office he did nothing to cause a restructuring of the party. He sat there and installed hardly any young people with voting rights in the party now all the ole heads he installed are throwing their support behind an ole head himself Phillip ” grey head” be Brave Davis.

    Johnny Tucker has been advised months ago about this strategic move by Brave and Johnny tells the truth!!!! Brave will secure the deputy leadership nomination easily. That’s it Brave keep working the family islands. Which island will he visit next….??? This should serve as a lesson of wisdom to young hopefuls in the party. If you want it, you have to go and get it. It takes more than a few online petitions, pressconferences or strategic meetings to rise above the fray. You have to be a ground man who display main stream values or as we in the Bahamas brand it the ” common touch”

    Raynard!!!!! it takes more than writing a letter to Glenys to provoke change.

    I want you young guys to take this party over man but for the last 3 years only a few of you have done your home work; just a few.

  7. @Russell Johnson
    I agree with you Russ.

    What irked me about Raynard is how he acted as if he had nothing to do with the defeat of the PLP in 2002. The way he was pointing fingers at everyone else and never included himself rubbed me the wrong way.

    But as it related to Obie, Rigby is right. Obie has a cloud of suspicion regarding the Trvolta’s case and if he had any shame he wouldnt throw his name in the hat for anything until that case is cleared up.

    I hope he looses.

  8. I am not a fan of Rigby as I still feel that if all of this energy that he is displaying at present was used while he was Chairman then the PLP would still be governing today.However he has a good point as for the PLP the race for positions at convention will either make or break the party.Case in point Obie as the CVharman has the option of putting a program together excluding other candidates for Deputy leader from the spotlight.Fairness must be seen to be done or the PLP risks another split.DEspite b eing a supporter of Davis I feel that regar5dless of the outcome some positions must be made for young persons.HAI and his band are very weak and can be easily beaten but a divided PLP cannot do the job.Fropm m y point of view the pickings are available but care must be taken to harness the energy of Paul Moss and members of PLAN in GB.Any victor must embrace the vanguished as HAI did when his slate blew Deon Foulkes,Tommy t and Carl Bethel out of the water just 4 short yrs ago.The rest is history and must be studied by victorious PLP members if they wish to offer as a viable alternate to this Govt.Obie listen to voices of reason and do the right thing.After all you have nothing to lose and again would have the opportunity to show statemenship.

  9. @Latia

    Said thinbg with the PLP they cannot stand the voices of reason… that is why Hubert Ingraham and many of us are FNMs today….

    Let the cranige start… PLP all da way…

  10. I think the P.L.P party has no need of Raynard Rigby…..he needs to leave gracefully or be thrown out…

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