Former Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said yesterday he is waiting to hear the “voice of the people” before he decides whether he will vie for a leadership position at the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) upcoming convention.
The party will hold its next convention July 25-26 at the Melia Nassau Beach resort.
There have been reports that Wilchcombe will seek the chairmanship of the party.
“I’m giving consideration into the requests that have been made by the PLP supporters, but I haven’t made a decision yet,” Wilchcombe told The Nassau Guardian when contacted for comment.
“I’m just measuring the voices of the people. I’m measuring how loud the noise is and how big the cry.
“Sir Lynden once said the voice of the people is the voice of God. I am listening to the voices.”
Flyers encouraging PLP supporters to vote for Wilchcombe have been circulating on social media in recent days.
Asked about their authenticity, Wilchcombe said, “They are pretty much being created by those who have an interest. I am from the old school of politics and I believe that internal party politics are discussed internally. But there are many who are involved in promoting their positions.”
He added that the flyers are not official posters released by him or his team.
Wilchcombe ran for chairman during the party’s October 2017 convention. The late Bradley Roberts was serving at the time.
Senator Fred Mitchell comfortably defeated Wilchcombe in the race for chairman.
Ahead of voting day, Wilchcombe said the party needs a temperate approach to how it deals with issues, an apparent dig at Mitchell, whose comments are often seen as aggressive and impulsive.
Last October, he attempted to discourage a leadership challenge at the PLP’s postponed November convention, saying a contest would be too divisive for the party at a time when it should be focused on fine-tuning its platform and message.
At the time, he noted that he supported the PLP’s leadership and will assist where he is needed.
“We do not need to have division of our organization when the bigger picture is a message that will relieve the country of the pains that we suffer now,” he said.
“Our party must focus on the national issues. We must bring all the forces together; all the minds together in every island of The Bahamas and begin to master a plan that would allow us to be responsive to the needs of our country moving forward.”
Wilchcombe also ran for deputy leader in 2009. He lost to Philip Brave Davis, who became the leader of the PLP after former Prime Minister Perry Christie resigned five days after the 2017 general election that saw the PLP nearly wiped out at the polls.
Wilchcombe was the member of Parliament for West End and Bimini. He lost his re-election bid in May 2017.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications