NASSAU, BAHAMAS Former Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said yesterday he is confident he will win the West Grand Bahama and Bimini seat in the upcoming general election.
Wilchcombe was among seven candidates to be ratified by the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) on Wednesday night during an outdoor meeting on the grounds of the Sir Lynden Pindling Center.
In an interview with Eyewitness News, the former Cabinet minister said: I am certainly humbled and I am overjoyed for the opportunity to continue the work that I started in the constituency. Its a refreshing feeling.
Wilchcombe noted the overwhelming support from the voters in the PLP branches was among the reasons he chose to reenter the political race.
I am confident that the people of The Bahamas will make the right choice in terms of assessing where they are today and where they were five years ago, he said.
I think they will look at where they want to go and, depending upon the message, we have to have the message and the message must be about the economic future of the country.
Wilchcombe noted there is currently abject poverty in the constituency, with too many people unemployed.
After hurricanes and disasters, they are still wondering when they will get relief, he continued.
There are too many opportunities that are being denied from the Bahamian people in the constituency.
He furthered that there are several projects the PLP government started that have had no movement to date, including a school on Bimini and administrative complexes on Bimini and in Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama.
There are things that we left in place to be done and extensions from those things that were supposed to serve as economic anchors for the various areas and yet it hasnt happened, he added.
So, I believe what the people want, they want to see the things happening for the area. They want to remain in the areas, they want to work in the areas, they want opportunities in the areas.
The former Cabinet minister, who served as an MP for the area between 2012 and 2017, lost his seat to the Free National Movements (FNM) Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe in the last general election.
While Parker-Edgecombe received 2,638 votes, Wilchcombe got 2,375 votes a difference of 263 votes.
The PLP was crushed at the polls in the 2017 election, capturing just four seats in the House compared to the FNMs 35.
Wilchcombe ran for deputy leader of the PLP in 2009 and lost to Philip Brave Davis, who later became leader of the party after former Prime Minister Perry Christie resigned following the last general election.
The former tourism minister also challenged PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell at the partys last national convention in 2019 and lost.
At the time, he offered his support to Davis and PLP Deputy Leader Chester Cooper, both of whom ran unopposed.
The other newly ratified candidates included Patricia Deveaux for Bamboo Town; Curt G Hollingsworth for Marco City; Leon Lundy for Mangrove Cay and South Andros; Ginger Moxey for Pineridge; James Rolle-Turner for East Grand Bahama; and Kirk Russell for Central Grand Bahama.
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