Friday, April 30, 2010

Ex-Progressive Liberal Party vice-chairman Melissa Sears is the focus of repeated attacks by PLPs on the Internet and in the political sphere

PLP 'bid to smear ex-chief'
Tribune Staff Reporter

PLP operatives are allegedly continuing a vicious smear campaign against one of their own colleagues, The Tribune has uncovered.

Having recently resigned from her post as vice-chairman in the Progressive Liberal Party, Melissa Sears has become the focus of repeated attacks by PLPs on the Internet and in the political sphere.

In their messages, some party supporters have sought to sully the former vice-chairman's reputation and have gone as far as to cast a cloud of suspicion over her friendship with a sitting FNM Cabinet Minister.

Yesterday, a source close to Ms Sears actually distanced himself from the party's official messaging on the issue, claiming he did not want his planned statement on the matter to be associated with what "the rest of the party" was seeking to do.

Ms Sears, he said, will make any statement she feels is necessary if and when the time comes.

In the meantime, however, the vice-chairwoman's resignation is continuing to be used as a political football among two of the most prominent warring camps within the party.

The attacks against Ms Sears has left some within the organisation to question the amount of damage this issue will ultimately inflict upon the party.

It has also left others calling for a shift in the messaging of the PLP and a "much needed change" in the way "sensitive matters are handled."

As it relates to the attacks on Ms Sears' name The Tribune was reliably informed that a current PLP Member of Parliament was the actual genesis of those reports.

In fact, we were made aware yesterday that an operative within the party was successful in transmitting a lurid text message to the Cabinet Minister's cellular phone seeking to disguise the message as a legitimate one from the former vice-chairwoman.

This message, it was said, would then have been posted online to embarrass Ms Sears and the Minister; destroying any possibility for the fledgling politician to ever return at any level of influence in the PLP.

It is understood that this message, has been forwarded to the relevant authorities to ascertain its origin for further investigations.

These attacks, along with others, have left some right-thinking PLPs disgusted with the way the party has handled the resignation of Ms Sears.

Instead of seeking to coax the party supporter into re-thinking her decision, it was said that some within the organisation immediately went on the offensive and tried to "ruin her politically."

Speaking with The Tribune yesterday, Erin Ferguson, the political commentator and TV show host said that having known Ms Sears for a few years as a native Grand Bahamian himself, he was disappointed in the way the party was handling this "great young talent."

"This is just another example of the PLP displaying their ability to misuse and mishandle excellent young talent in the Bahamas.

"Melissa Sears has shown she is grounded in family, church, and community, and she is certainly a woman that serves as an example to any young woman as to how to go about serving your country as a good citizen. It's unfortunate in my opinion that she has been put through the political wringer of the PLP," he said.

Mr Ferguson added that countless other young people have been put through this unfortunate process and many others have refused to even engage these political parties as it is an "absolute waste of time."

April 29, 2010