Nassau, The Bahamas – Following up on a statement made several months ago while speaking at the Issues and Speaker’s Forum, former Minister of Transport and Englerston MP, Glenys Hanna-Martin made it official this past weekend when she formally announced her intentions to contest the chairmanship of the PLP.
Mrs. Hanna-Martin’s announcement came less than a week after National Party Chairman Raynard Rigby announced his decision to not contest the post in the February elections set for the PLP Convention.
Mrs. Hanna-Martin, if successful, will be the first female National Party Chairman for any party in Bahamian politics. Flanked by her supporters at the Englerston Constituency office on Balfour Avenue, Mrs. Hanna-Martin made the following statement.
I would wish to begin by thanking members of the media for taking the time to join us this afternoon on Balfour Avenue for this press statement.
I am today formally announcing my candidacy for the post of National Chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party at the upcoming National General Convention in February 2008.
I do so today from my constituency office on Balfour Avenue in the heart of the Englerston constituency. I share this moment with residents of this community to whom I owe my political life.
Since its formation more than 50 years ago, the Progressive Liberal Party has played an unrivaled and unmatched role in the growth and development of this country. Today, we face new challenges but the philosophical underpinnings of this party are timeless.
I take this opportunity to reaffirm my commitment to the sacred ideals upon which this great political organization was founded. It is a commitment to national development in a clear, defined and purposeful fashion.
A commitment to the fundamental human rights that each Bahamian man, woman and child, regardless of his circumstances is entitled to including:-
• The right, not simply to an education but a learning experience which imparts knowledge, nurtures the concept of citizenship and personal responsibility and which taps into the rich potential of our children thereby preparing them for their natural role to take this country into the future • The right to access healthcare, not in a partial, compromised fashion but which guarantees so far as possible, a good quality of life for our population;
• The right to fully participate in the bounty of this country • The commitment to integrity in public life • The belief in the possible
In the Progressive Liberal Party we must now begin the process of reigniting our uncompromising and unfettered commitment to the party’s sacred principles and philosophy .
We must now mobilize the party’s machinery nationwide and effectively communicate and advocate the great energy and love which represents this Progressive Liberal Party.
We must capture the imagination of our people and engage their creative participation in nation building.
People must be made to know they have a real stake in their country and that their future holds promise. And our rank and file membership must see themselves as foot soldiers in this selfless quest in nation building.
The party must be poised and ready when elections are called to procure a victory which merely begins the ground shaking in this new phase of our national development.
God has been good to us. Perhaps we have not been so faithful in exploiting his goodness. In the Progressive Liberal Party, we must step forward.
We must build a great country not just for today, but we must so direct our paths that generations yet unborn shall inherit a good country with a solid foundation, one which they can build upon. So that when the name of our country is called, The Bahamas, it resonates across the globe as a place that exemplifies noble ideals, a place of peace and prosperity for all. Where tears are wiped from every eye.
I am excited about the challenge ahead. I today pledge my full commitment to these objectives and to leading the charge for the preparation of our party for the successful realization of these objectives..