Categorized | National News

Galanis Picks PLP’s Frontrunners Halkitis “Impressive”

Prime Minister Perry Christie has only been back at the helm for four months, but already some are wondering who will assume the leadership of the governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) once he retires from public life and passes the baton.

Mr. Christie has touted himself as the bridge to his party’s future; a man who has been able to marry the inexperienced with the experienced, ensuring that there is a degree of continuity.

But according to former PLP MP, Philip Galanis, no matter what happens; the cream will always rise to the top.

Nonetheless, there are frontrunners.

“The measure of the maturity of the PLP will be in the contest that will ensue for leadership in the coming years,” Mr. Galanis said while appearing as a guest yesterday on Love 97’s daily talk show, “Issues of the Day.”

“I think several things are going to happen. Persons who presently serve as ministers who have prime ministerial ambitions will have to so prove themselves capable of running their own ministries….You will see that kind of dynamic working itself out over the course of the next few years. You will also see the issue of corruption…The more powerful a person becomes the more he tends to become corrupted by the system and the power. Thirdly, we will have to see who is it that emerges within the PLP who is really able to make things happen for people.”

Mr. Galanis is convinced that by using these yardsticks as measurements, Bahamians will very quickly – within two to three years – be able to say “that person has potential.”

One Cabinet minister who has so far has impressed Mr. Galanis is Minister of State for Finance, Michael Halkitis.

“He’s not a person that you would call a crowd pleaser, not a person you would put in the category of charismatic leadership as Sir Lynden and Perry Christie, but he is certainly one who has been able to articulate a (mortgage relief) programme, the economy, speak about the downgrade and he speaks honestly and with humility. And so, he’s impressive.” Mr. Galanis said.

He added that Minister of Financial Services, Ryan Pinder is also very ambitious.

Mr. Christie once said he would step down mid-term if he became prime minister.

He has long since changed his mind.

“Mr. Christie is now really striking his stride. He is able – given his level of maturity, many years in politics, leadership ability and consensus gathering skills – to coalesce competing constituencies within the party and within Cabinet to move to effectively create an environment that really is to our benefit. I don’t think he ought to go at the end of three years,” the former MP said.

“Now, whether he should lead us into the next general election really depends on his health, what transpires between now and the election and a number of other things.”

Also commenting on the Free National Movement’s (FNM) present leadership, Mr. Galanis said party chief Dr. Hubert Minnis “has to as quickly as possible establish himself as leader.”

“If he does not what will happen is that those persons who currently find themselves out of office will find an opportunity to be back in office and they will assert their influence and they will continue to do this even out of office,” he said.

Mr. Galanis’ comment hinged on the claim that former cabinet ministers, Tommy Turnquest and Dion Foulkes have primarily taken over the reins of the official opposition now that former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham has left public life.

Messrs. Turnquest and Foulkes once served as the FNM’s leader and deputy leader between 2002 and 2005.

“They will seize every opportunity to pounce on those opportunities that arise to seize and gain more influence within their party, as that is the nature of politics,” Mr. Galanis added.

“And so, Dr. Minnis has a position that is very tenuous at the time being, but he can do some things to sure it up very quickly and it is my hope that in the interest of shifting the political culture from the influences of the former administration to what I hope will be a newer, younger, gentler party, I am hoping that he will succeed because I look at him as not of that ilk.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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