Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Allyson Maynard-Gibson confirms decision not to run again

Maynard-Gibson confirms decision not to run again
Tribune Staff Reporter

IN the wake of Allyson Maynard-Gibson announcing that she will not run again in Pinewood in the next general election, PLP leader Perry Christie says his party is having difficulty "balancing the old with the new" as it moves to pin down its slate of candidates for the election battle.

Senator and former PLP cabinet minister Mrs Maynard-Gibson confirmed yesterday that she has declined a nomination from Mr Christie for the upcoming election, telling The Tribune she would like to give some younger candidates an opportunity to move up the political ladder.

Meanwhile, in a separate interview with this newspaper, Mr Christie said the party which he hopes to lead into the next election has been inundated with interest from potential candidates hoping to receive nominations to run under the party's banner.

With an anti-incumbent movement growing throughout the world, PLP leader Perry Christie said that his party is faced with the same challenge as scores of people have been lining up to represent the PLP in seats that already have sitting Members of Parliament.

However, while having six or seven candidates vying for any given constituency, Mr Christie said that the party is having difficulty balancing "the old with the new".

Mrs Maynard-Gibson is the second member of the "old guard" of PLPs who it is suggested will not offer again for the party in the next election. PLP MP for Fort Charlotte Alfred Sears is reportedly in consultation with his constituents as to whether or not to offer for re-election for the area.

Nonetheless, Mr Christie told The Tribune he is pleased to see the enthusiasm from younger members of the party.

"There has been a significant increase in young professionals wishing to enter public life on our side. It is really refreshing and bodes well for the future. Our only concern is there is not an equal amount of interest from women seeking to enter politics."

Mrs Gibson, as one of the most prominent female members of the party - and the second in a year to reveal her decision to step down from frontline politics, along with former deputy prime minister Cynthia "Mother" Pratt - says she will now focus on her role as a "mentor" to others outside of politics.

"Over the past five years, in other areas of my life, I have been an advocate for mentorship and I serve as a mentor. I tremendously enjoy this and find it very fulfilling," she said.

She said her determination to allow a younger generation to play a bigger role in the party is in keeping with her father's philosophy "that it is important to step aside to allow room for younger people and to help them prepare and excel at leadership."

"I would like to help the PLP find the right mix of experience and youthful, able enthusiasm that will propel it to victory in the next General Elections," said the former cabinet minister.

Mrs Maynard Gibson was appointed senator for the PLP after running unsuccessfully for the PLP in 2007. She was defeated by the FNM's Byron Woodside, in a result that was ultimately challenged but confirmed in favour of Mr Woodside in an election court challenge.

May 18, 2010