Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson said while he is not seeking a renomination in Carmichael, he is not leaving public life and might even seek nomination for the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) in another constituency.
Last week, Johnson announced to his constituents that he will not seek a nomination in Carmichael “for personal reasons”.
A statement sent by PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts last Tuesday night quoted the minister saying he does not intend to run in any constituency.
But Johnson sent an amended statement that same night, as did Roberts later on, that omitted that line.
“I did not say that I was leaving political life,” the minister told The Nassau Guardian.
“I did not say that I was bowing out. I’m not bowing out of anything. When people take a bow it means they have done a great job. I don’t think I’ve done enough to bow out yet.
“I’m saying I’ve had a great start. I have a situation with my family. I have to get them back on track. You have to give me time for them. That’s my sole responsibility. When I see God, I have to face him about them. I’m not bowing out of anything.”
Johnson also said there is a need for a leadership transition in the PLP (See today’s National Review).
Asked whether he intends to be a part of the team pushing for this transition, he said, “This emboldens me, this experience [surrounding my recent announcement] emboldens me to say we could do better.”
The minister stressed, “I am going to remain in the PLP. I will remain somewhere in the frontline, fulfill my mandate as minister of youth, sports and culture, fulfill the mandate for Carmichael and make sure we are driving a new group of people into political prowess, into national development in 2017.”
Asked whether he will seek a nomination in another constituency, Johnson said, “Perhaps.”
He added, “Right now, it’s the country; it’s our party and our people, and whatever is best for this country today I put my hand up in the class of 2016 and say I am going to be the change we want to see. It begins today.
“We have to move our party forward. We have to go in the 21st century … The country, my party and my people, all three of those together we must now begin to move in a direction that prepares our people for peace and prosperity in the 21st century. I put my hand up today to say that I am going to involve myself in that charge fully.”
Johnson said it is time for members of the so-called new generation leadership team to play a stronger role in moving the PLP and the country forward.
Many political pundits are likely to view his comments with interest, given that they follow a statement made by Prime Minister Perry Christie on “Ed Fields Live” on Kiss FM, a week ago. On that show, Christie said that he is staying on as leader because young members of his government have asked him to, and because he provides stability for the PLP.
But Johnson said he intends to be a part of a new change movement in the PLP.
He also said, “If it comes to a situation where we have [Free National Movement Leader Dr. Hubert] Minnis and the FNM going to run The Bahamas, then Danny Johnson himself would stand up to lead.”