PLP marks 44th anniversary of Majority Rule
As the country marks the 44th anniversary of Majority Rule, former Prime Minister Perry Christie yesterday called on parliamentarians to return to the ideals of the past.
“Majority Rule Day is the culmination of what historians will likely recall this period, the golden age of idealism in Bahamian politics,”Christie said during a prayer breakfast at the Wyndham Nassau Resort yesterday morning.
“It was an era marked by an extraordinary spirit of selfless struggle and sacrifice. An age that was marked by a collective desire to be a part of what was clearly understood to be the most consequential struggle for freedom since emancipation some 140 years before,”said Christie.
“It is perhaps for that reason we looked back to 1967 with no hesitation. Those were the good old days of Bahamian politics because it was all about uplifting our people and uplifting our country, rather than seeing what one could get for oneself. We look back with nostalgia because we painfully recognize how little in evidence that spirit of idealism is in Bahamian politics today. We therefore need to recapture the spirit of 1967. We need to do so more than ever.”
On January 10, 1967 the PLP was the first black political group to successfully oppose the then government which at the time was the United Bahamian Party(UBP). The PLP won in 18 constituencies, while the UBP also returned 18 seats. However, the PLP officially formed the government after receiving the support of two outstanding successful candidates.
Majority Rule ushered in the opportunity for Bahamians to have constitutional, political, social, cultural and economic rights.
Christie said the leaders of the country need idealism to fuel the machinery of governance in the country.
“We need to set before us once again the high ideals that guided and inspired the generations of men and women who made the triumph of 1967 possible. And so we cannot allow this to be a time of idle conversation. We cannot allow this to be an occasion for simple minded remembrance. Instead we have to seize this moment, this 44th anniversary as a reminder of the urgent need to embrace afresh the ideals that guided our party in an earlier time,”Christie said.
In the past decade politics have been clouded with controversy and scandals. Christie said it’s time to return to the ideals of the past leaders.
“Just as the front line warriors of the PLP took on the great challenges of their time and overcame them, we to are now summoned by history to meet the major challenges that confront our society today,”he said.
Christie said every day the PLP is reminded that the struggle continues. He added that after 44 years people are still seeking economic empowerment and greater benefits.
“We cannot let our people down. We must rise to the challenge and continue the struggle with the mighty spirit of 1967 beating in our breast,”he continued.
Similarly, PLP chairman Bradley Roberts said scores of Bahamians struggle daily and are in desperate need of help.
“We gather at this prayer breakfast this morning keenly aware that the struggle for social justice continues, because we have not wiped every tear from every eye and too many of our brothers and sisters have fallen through the social safety nets and exist on the periphery of the Bahamian mainstream,”Roberts said.”The level of crime is unacceptable which affirms the serious social problems in our Bahama land. Our educational and justice systems are broken. These conditions are unacceptable and the PLP must recommit itself to correcting this serious vexing problem.”
Crime levels reached new records last year.
“I acknowledge that in some respects, many Bahamians have regressed, especially over the last generation or twenty years. Forty-four years later, the dream and promise of economic justice through equitable wealth distribution remain unfulfilled,”Roberts added.