Curry takes his seat in the HOA
FN News Reporter
Renardo Curry gave his first speech in the House of Assembly yesterday after being elected as Member of Parliament for North Abaco in the October 15 by-election.
Like a prodigal son, he said, the North Abaco constituency had returned to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).
"Let the record show that the North Abaco by-election recorded the highest voter turnout in recent election history some 20 percentage points higher than the Elizabeth by-election in February 2010 where there were 1,800 no shows," Curry said.
Curry made the statement in the wake of claims there was a lower voter turnout because residents were scared of reprisals if they did not cast their vote for the Government.
He said North Abaconians made their choice and embraced the vision of a new day of progress and development for its communities, free from the influences of partisan political influences.
"There is much work to be done in North Abaco. We must invest in education and training from our preschoolers to our post-secondary young men and women if we are to maintain a competitive edge in the global marketplace," Curry said. "The Government has committed to the construction of three preschool units, the establishment of Urban Renewal 2.0 in Abaco and the pavement of thoroughfares in a number of our communities. I will work assiduously to cause to be established a BTVI campus in Abaco to address the training needs of our growing and dynamic workforce."
Curry assured he would serve his constituents with the outmost faithfulness, respect and integrity.
"I solemnly promise to attend Parliament faithfully to conduct their business through vigorous debate and frequent interruption of opposing views so that together we will ensure that North Abaco's voice is heard and its continued growth and development to peace and prosperity are realized," he said.
Curry also thanked former Prime Minister and former Member of Parliament for North Abaco Hubert Ingraham for his many years of public service and his opponent Greg Gomez for a clean fight.
He noted that one of the tenets of the PLP has been to facilitate the opportunity for ordinary Bahamians to serve in office.
"The PLP saw to it that the Bahamian people were governed by their peers as opposed to being lorded over by a select few of elites who were for the most part disconnected from the experiences and sensibilities of ordinary Bahamians," Curry said.
Free National Movement (FNM) Dr. Hubert Minnis congratulated Curry on his by-election win and noted that the voters had spoken and the opposition has accepted their decision.
Minnis said North Abaco was previously represented by a "giant" who had a vision for the area and urged Curry to take ideas from the former prime minister.
"There is nothing wrong with him speaking to the former prime minister. There is nothing wrong with him speaking to the former leader of our great party and the former representative of North Abaco so that he can understand what was the vision, not necessarily for The Bahamas, but the vision for Abaco and that he can carry that through," he said.
Minnis said Curry has big shoes to fill and must fight to ensure plans for Abaco are carried out.
Prime Minister Perry Christie accused Minnis of taking a clever political slant that he attempted to camouflage through small references of encouragement to Curry.
"This is a day for the new member and it's not a day for politics in that sense," he said. "I have been in the House I have commenced by 36th consecutive year and I don't know if I've ever heard an effort of the kind that began as tribute and congratulatory remarks to the new member take such a context," he said.
The prime minister congratulated Curry and noted that his maiden speech defined the personal philosophy he would bring to the House of Assembly.
"As the sun sets on my political career, one of the beautiful things about this democracy (is) it allows another to have the sun rise," Christie said.
He noted that people in public life guard their integrity jealously.
"Election after election eight consecutive elections people have voted for me to return to this House and I believe one of the qualities they saw in me was my integrity and I jealously guard that. I resent people who unnecessarily for political reasons try to bring that into play during elections," Christie said.
The prime minister encouraged Curry to work to bring his constituents together and urged him to never forget the people that supported him.
He told Curry that the greatest challenge he would face as a new Member of Parliament would be the high expectations of his constituents.
"You cannot do all the things for all the people all the time, so know what your limitations are. Know what you face, work hard. Work hard at doing what is right for the people that you represent and they will give you another opportunity," Christie said.
© 2012 The Freeport News