Former Prime Minister Perry Christie yesterday told members of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) that there is “no greater time than now” to rally behind PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis to ensure he becomes the country’s next prime minister, urging supporters to stand united ahead of the next general election.
Christie made the comments during a memorial service at PLP headquarters for former PLP Senator Audley Hanna Sr.
Christie, who was addressing former Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia “Mother” Pratt, said they both “owe it” to Davis to do whatever they can to ensure he wins.
Pratt gave a brief tribute to Hanna moments before Christie.
“Cynthia Pratt, you must come out more often,” Christie said.
“You have always been an extraordinary friend and supporter of Brave Davis.
“Likewise, he also supported you. There is no time greater than now. …There is no second shot at this. This is it.
“You [have] been there and you’ve spoken to thousands and thousands. You’ve earned their respect.
“So I just say to you, that we owe it to him to do whatever we can to ensure, with God’s help, that he is the next prime minister.
“That can only happen if, when we walk out of this room and every time we walk out of this room, we wear our PLPs on our shoulders.
“The narrative in the country will be your leader can’t do this. That’s what they said about me. It’s what they say, that we corrupt, we this, we that.
“You are leaders in here and there is no time greater than now for you to begin to order your footsteps towards making this man the next prime minister.
“I just want to say that to you because it is that important.
“I don’t want any of us to make the mistake that we can come back and say, ‘Lord, if only we had done that.’”
Christie drew thunderous applause from the attendees who shouted, “All hands on deck”.
Several former PLP MPs and current ratified candidates were among those in attendance.
Christie was elected leader of the PLP in 1997, but after a crushing defeat at the polls in 2017, where he also lost his Centreville seat after nearly four decades, he stood down.
Speaking after the election, he said, “I stand before you as your leader and I declare that I fully accept the responsibility for the defeat.
“I also accept without reservation that in the best traditions of our democracy, no less, the impulses of my own conscience and value system, dictate that I resign as the leader of our party.
“This is the correct and only thing for me to do from both a political and moral perspective.”
The PLP won only four of the 39 seats during that election.
Davis was later elected leader of the party and Christie encouraged party supporters to stand behind him.
With the general election to be called by next May, both the PLP and Free National Movement have started campaigning.
Both have ratified the majority of their candidates: the PLP has ratified 38 candidates and the FNM 35.