NASSAU, The Bahamas, Wednesday August 30, 2017 – A woman has stepped into the ring to contest the leadership of The Bahamas’ beleaguered Opposition Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).
Member of Parliament for Englerston, Glenys Hanna-Martin is seeking to become the first woman to lead the political party and assures she is just right for the job.
Declaring that she was driven by a passion and love for the Bahamian people, Martin, one of four PLP members who survived the May election, signalled she was ready for the challenge at hand.
“I hereby declare with bold humility that I will be offering myself at the next convention of the Progressive Liberal Party for the position of leader of our great party,” she told a gathering, which included supporters, friends and her father, former Governor General Arthur Hanna, and other family members, at her constituency office on Monday.
Hanna-Martin was first elected to the Parliament in 2001 and has served as Minister of Transport and Aviation in a PLP administration.
She is the first candidate to publicly announce an intention to challenge Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP Philip “Brave” Davis for leader at the PLP’s October 22-25 convention.
Hanna-Martin told the gathering she wants to focus on lifting Bahamians out of poverty, health reform and improved educational opportunities.
Speaking about the education system, she expressed concern that too many children were passing through the education system without acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills.
“I believe we are now compelled to look at our educational system with new eyes and cause for an analysis of how our children learn and give them access to knowledge through methodologies which are effective in that learning process. Our goals in the delivery of education must broaden and deepen so as to stimulate in our children creative thinking and foster analytical thought and facilitate innovation,” she said.
With respect to health, Hanna-Martin lamented that despite billions of dollars invested in the health sector, the Bahamas had an unfolding health crisis on its hands.
“We are watching what is fast becoming a frightening health crisis in our country and which appears to be growing unabated and placing tremendous pressures on our scarce resources. It is therefore of utmost urgency that we address the state of health of our people. Just as we have the careful surveillance and the aggressive public education for communicable diseases, we should be embarking on similar strategies to counter chronic non-communicable diseases, because we are indeed experiencing a deadly epidemic,” she said.
At least two former PLP ministers have endorsed Hanna-Martin for the top job.
Former Financial Services Minister Hope Strachan and former Social Services Minister Melanie Griffin both agreed there was no one more fitting for the job.
Davis, the man Hanna-Martin is seeking to replace, has been serving in the position since May when former Prime Minister Perry Christie resigned as PLP leader following the bruising election defeat.