Former State Minister in the Ingraham administration Byron Woodside is defending his recent decision to switch to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) after years of serving under the Free National Movement (FNM).
Mr. Woodside said he hopes his departure from the FNM will spur Bahamians to take a second look at the governing party – a political machinery that’s facing a critical junction in the run-up to the next general election.
“There lies something interesting about me joining the PLP at this time,” he said.
“When people in the public talk about the prime minister one thing they say is that he is not a decision maker but Mr. Christie has been taking on those heavyweight decisions and he has been comfortably and effectively making them. Value Added Tax (VAT) is one of them and even respects to the gaming in the Bahamas. He’s dealt with it and he continues to deal with heavy decisions. So people can’t say he is indecisive or can’t make decisions.”
On the flipside, Mr. Woodside’s decision to leave the FNM comes at a time when there is apparent infighting within that party fueled in part by calls from some that Dr. Hubert Minnis be removed as leader.
When asked his views on the FNM’s state of affairs, Mr. Woodside said he’s not surprised by the debacle.
“I am not surprised,” he said.
“Firstly, I recall when I was a then minister in the FNM, a PLP said to me whenever anything goes on in our party they know about it while the fight is going on. He also said our people do not operate with a level of discipline. I say this to say Ms. Rolle in the democratic society has the right to say whatever she chooses to say and about whom. But, she must remember that persons that went before her lead the way as a woman in the struggle for her party’s success however, if she wishes to share those comment, do so behind closed doors.”
Mr. Woodside insisted that he’s not requesting a PLP nomination but rather is simply focused on doing whatever it takes to serve the country.
Just last week, Mr. Woodside was introduced as the newest member of the governing party by PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts.