Nassau, Bahamas- Heralding the newly ratified incumbent candidates as “competent, tried and proven leaders,” PLP Chairman Bradley B. Roberts presided over the ratification of the Hon. Arnold Forbes, the Hon Leslie Miller and the Hon. Dion Smith during the party’s National General Council’s (NGC) monthly meeting on Thursday evening (4th Aug 2016).
“So tonight we continue the process of shaping, forming and building the electoral and executive team that will lead this great country of ours into 2017 and beyond. Tonight we approve three more competent, tried and proven leaders as our candidates for the 2017 General Elections, with Minister Arnold Forbes for Mt. Moriah, the Hon. Leslie Miller for Tall Pines and Deputy Speaker of the House the Hon. Dion Smith for Nassau Village” said Mr. Roberts.
Mr. Roberts told Councilors that notwithstanding the naysayers, the critics and prophets of doom and gloom, the country was in “good hands” with the Progressive Liberal Party at the helm.
“Fellow Councilors, notwithstanding the noise in the market and the gloom and doom spewed in the public domain on a daily basis, The Bahamas is in good hands with team PLP as we move with haste to complete our agenda on behalf of the Bahamian people.”
He listed legislation for the establishment of the University of The Bahamas, National Health Insurance and the Grand Bahama (Port Area) Investment Incentives Act as the latest pieces of legislation that should leave no doubt that the Progressive Liberal Party has the best and most practical vision for the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Christie.
“This aggressive, progressive and transformational legislative agenda under the leadership of the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie should leave no doubt about who has the best and most practical vision for the future development of The Bahamas.”
Regarding the candidates, the outspoken Leslie Miller, the most experienced of the three candidates, represented the former Blue Hills constituency on multiple occasions before its name change to Tall Pines in the lead up to the 2012 general elections. He is an accomplished businessman, a former athlete, the founder of the light industries association and he chaired the former Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC), now Bahamas Power and Light (BPL), under the Pindling and Christie administrations. Mr. Miller led the family island electrification project as BEC chairman when he signed a $105 million contract with the Inter American Development Bank in 1989. He also served as Agriculture and Marine Resources Minister between 2002 and 2007 and is the current chairman of the Water and Sewerage Corporation. Mr. Miller will contest Tall Pines again in 2017.
State Minister for Works and Urban Development and Attorney-at-Law by professional training, the Hon. Arnold Forbes is a first time Member of Parliament, having been elected to represent the people of Mount Moriah in 2012. In his former post as chairman of the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC), Mr. Forbes presided over the construction of the new energy efficient and eco-friendly headquarters of the BAIC, a model for future public buildings. He laid much of the ground work for the expanded public/private partnership between BAIC and entrepreneurs in the agriculture and food processing industry by facilitating greater training opportunities and increased access to local markets through its distribution and marketing efforts. He was also ratified to contest Mount Moriah in 2017.
Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly and current Chairman of the Bahamas Agriculture and Industrial Corporation, the Hon. Dion Smith, will return to the constituency of Nassau Village in 2017. Like Mr. Forbes, he too is a first time Member of Parliament and continues the work of BAIC, inclusive of the establishment of public industrialized kitchens throughout The Bahamas to assist small business people in the food processing industry. Mr. Smith is an Attorney-at-Law by professional training.
Mr. Roberts put councilors on notice that since it is the responsibility of the Candidates Committee to accelerate the ratification process, the National General Council will meet more frequently in order to achieve this desired result. He also said that it was the intention of the party to launch the Grand Bahama based candidates in Grand Bahama before the end of August.