Is Alfred Sears Christie’s handpicked successor?
Alfred Sears has reentered frontline politics, which has oft been described as a rough and tumble business. The former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Cabinet minister and Fort Charlotte MP has decided to come out of a self-imposed, four-year hiatus to challenge his former PLP successor in Fort Charlotte, Dr. Andre Rollins.
It is a huge sacrifice for Sears. From my vantage point he looked content as a private citizen. I read awhile back that Fort Charlotte constituents were petitioning for the return of Sears after it became apparent that Rollins was not a genuine PLP.
There may very well be far more to Sears’ return than meets the eye. My interest in this particular development was piqued by an editorial which was published in the April 25 edition of The Nassau Guardian. The gist of The Guardian editorial concerned Prime Minister Perry Christie’s eventual departure from frontline politics, and his possible successor. The editorial mentioned Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe and Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald as prospective successors.
You would have to think that Davis is on top this short list due to him being deputy prime minister and deputy leader of the PLP. The general consensus in the political world is that Davis wants to be the next prime minister. This appears to be his greatest political aspiration. He has quietly and patiently waited his turn. However, Davis may be confronted by a political roadblock. And that roadblock may be none other than the newly minted PLP standard-bearer for Fort Charlotte: Alfred Sears.
I arrived at this hypothesis due to an article which was written a few years back in one of the dailies. Sears’ recent return has only served to fueled this speculation. Has Christie shrewdly and quietly handpicked his successor in the person of Alfred Sears? In Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” it is said that “when the strategy of opponents first makes an appearance, you operate secretly in such a way as to be able to attack it. Since the effort used is little, and your assurance of victory is done in a subtle way, that victory is an easy one.”
If my hypothesis is accurate, it would then mean that Christie has no confidence in supposed leadership front-runners Davis, Fitzgerald and Wilchcombe. It would also mean that Christie does not want any of the aforementioned to succeed him as PLP leader and subsequently prime minister. In all likelihood, though, such as scenario, however far-fetched it may be, has the potential to start a political bloodbath within the PLP between the Christie and Davis factions. There have been rumors that the Davis faction of the PLP was disillusioned and frustrated with Christie for remaining in active politics. Clearly any attempts to stymie Davis would cause a political melee within the PLP.
The infighting among the Hubert Minnis and Loretta Butler-Turner factions within the Free National Movement (FNM) would pale in comparison. I cannot envisage Sears being Christie’s choice for leader siting well with an ambitious Davis. Adding intrigue to this hypothesis is the known fact that Sears has numbers boss Craig Flowers in his corner, as per The Nassau Guardian. Davis has plenty clout indeed, but can he successfully withstand the formidable triumvirate of Christie, Sears and Flowers? I seriously doubt he can. But for what it’s worth, if Sears is Christie’s choice to succeed him, then I honestly believe that he will become the next leader of the PLP. However, first thing first, Sears will have to win in Fort Charlotte, which will not be easy considering the PLP’s underwhelming performance the past four years.
– Kevin Evans