FORMER Attorney General Alfred Sears took his confident public pronouncements on winning the Progressive Liberal Party’s leadership race a step further yesterday by predicting that with him at the helm of the political organisation, it would win the majority of the seats in the House of Assembly.
In stark contrast, he went on to estimate that if Prime Minister Perry Christie were to remain the party’s leader, there would be a fifty-fifty chance that the PLP could be re-elected to government.
More specifically, Mr Sears said a PLP under his direction could secure about 28 seats, whereas Mr Christie would most likely only be able to deliver 19 seats.
Explaining this position, while a guest on the Darold Miller Live show, Mr Sears said Mr Christie was sure to win this number of seats should the Free National Movement remain “fractured”.
“Under me I believe that the Progressive Liberal Party will win overwhelmingly,” he said in response to questions from Mr Miller. “Both in terms of the popular vote which it did not win the last time as well as I would say of the 38 seats…I think it would be about 28 (seats).”
Asked how well he thought the party could perform with Mr Christie as leader, Mr Sears said: “I think it would be very close. I think it depends on the opposition whether the parties are unified…”
“Provided the opposition is still fractured I would say it could be a fifty-fifty chance,” he said, when he was pressed further on the matter.
“The party will support whatever the outcome is and do our best. I am talking about as I talk to people in Fort Charlotte and now as I move throughout our country and having an opportunity to speak to party officers and stalwarts I am getting a sentiment within the country that, of course, there have been polls, there has been the most recent referendum where the base of our party would have voted against the four bills,” he added.
He also sought to again dispel a rumour that web shop bosses fund his campaign for PLP leader. Instead, Mr Sears said, he receives small contributions and joked that he would love to be given $50,000 to campaign. He had spoken about the matter on a previous appearance on the radio talk show.
If he wins the leadership race, Mr Sears said yesterday that he would allow Mr Christie to continue on as prime minister and complete the mammoth tasks the country now faces, as he pointed to the Baha Mar situation.
In an interview with The Tribune earlier this week, Mr Sears said after meeting with stalwarts and branch executives his support has grown exponentially and he has been assured that he will be the next leader of the PLP and the country’s next prime minister.
His comments came after he ended his “listening” tour in Abaco over the weekend. Mr Sears said the people he met there were “excited” about his vision and welcomed him warmly, while embracing his change agenda and assuring him of their support.
He said the stalwarts expressed a concern about a lack of sustained engagement by the PLP other than at election time and the need to ensure that the constitutional structure of the party is operational.
Last week, Agriculture and Marine Resources Minister V Alfred Gray insisted that the prime minister was “entrenched” in the party’s top post and Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson said while it is good for people to see democracy at work during the convention where all posts will be open for challenge, she was “quite sure” and “firm” that Mr Christie will win hands down.
By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Deputy Chief Reporter