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Emerald Bay plans to hire as many as 20 Bahamians this week to cope with the spike in occupancy expected at the elite Sandals property.
The hirings are "across the board", according to Jeremy Mutton, the general manager at Emerald Bay. Interviews are taking place at the Royal Bahamian in Nassau on Wednesday and interested parties are encouraged to bring their CV and health and police certification for interviews.
While the December and January period proved relatively quiet, Mutton told Guardian Business an aggressive marketing campaign seems to be paying off for 2012.
"We are looking to fill about 20 jobs," he said. "Basically we're seeing an upturn in the business from mid-January onwards. We will be hiring across the board, including waiters, bartenders, housemaids hostesses and activity staff."
Two managers from Emerald Bay are slated to conduct the interviews on Wednesday.
In particular, Mutton identified the resort's participation in Wheel of Fortune late last year as paying dividends in terms of occupancy. The popular U.S. game show spent an entire week in Exuma, broadcasting the location and brand to millions of viewers.
"We have seen an increase in our bookings so it seems to be coming to fruition. As our occupancy picks up, we'll make sure we have the correct staffing levels to accommodate and serve the guests," he added.
As for the future of Emerald Bay, Mutton echoed sentiments expressed by Adam Stewart, the CEO of Sandals, that no major projects are planned for the Exuma property in the near future. Sandals has invested $80 million in the resort since acquiring the site a few years ago. There are already 100 permanent employees and it boasts five restaurants, five bars, two pools, 150 slips and 183 rooms, as well as an 18-hole golf course.
Stewart told Guardian Business that the company hopes to turn a profit on Emerald Bay by 2013.
"It's now really a matter of maximizing and reaping the benefits of what we have done, and ensuring the standards we want to maintain are there," Mutton said.
What effect will Jamaica becoming a republic and leaving the 53-nation Commonwealth have on the rest of the Caribbean countries? Will they follow Jamaica to become republics and leave the Commonwealth?
Those were the questions put to me by the editor of an Internet news website just as I had begun to write a commentary after a two-day seminar at Cambridge University in the UK that grappled with the issue of the Commonwealth and its relevance to its 1.2 billion people after the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Australia last October.
I will return to the outcome of the seminar in my next commentary. Suffice it to say for now that The Round Table, arguably the oldest journal on Commonwealth matters, is in its 101st year of publication in Britain and the Commonwealth. Over the decades, the material published in the journal has been both a record of Commonwealth events and a serious contributor to the shape and direction of the now 53-nation organization.
After each Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference (CHOGM), The Round Table has convened a meeting of representatives of Commonwealth non-governmental organizations, ministers, academics and the Commonwealth secretary-general to assess the outcomes of the conference. It did so at Cambridge University in the UK on January 9 and 10 with Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma and Lord Howells, the British minister for commonwealth affairs actively participating.
I attended as a member of the International Advisory Board of The Round Table and a member of the Eminent Persons Group that submitted a report to last October's CHOGM in Australia on urgent reform of the Commonwealth. The question that dominated the 2-day meeting in Cambridge is whether, as a result of the Australia CHOGM, the Commonwealth is better or worse placed to serve the needs of the people and to make a meaningful contribution to the international community.
I had meant to write about the outcome of the seminar but this matter of Jamaica commands immediate attention. So, this week, I give it priority.
The posing of the editor's question shows how misunderstood the Commonwealth is even by journalists whose breadth of knowledge about world events is considerable. It also underscores the necessity for the Commonwealth to improve significantly its own information and education machinery.
The editor's question arose because newly-elected Jamaica Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller in a televised debate on the eve of last month's general election, said quite clearly that she wanted "a Jamaican Queen". The remark from the leader of the People's National Party (PNP) was not a new sentiment. The former leader of the PNP and former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson had also declared his party's wish to end Jamaica's monarchical status, in which it shares Queen Elizabeth with 14 other countries as its sovereign.
What was intriguing about the editor's question was the underlying assumption that, if the Jamaican people choose to end Jamaica's monarchical relationship and become a Republic, Jamaica would have to leave the Commonwealth of which the Queen is head.
This was the same assumption that Ireland made in 1949 when it chose to become a republic. Having made that choice, Ireland departed from the Commonwealth. India was set to follow Ireland in becoming a republic and leaving the Commonwealth because the government of independent India (1948) was not about to allow the British monarch to continue to reign over it. However, mature and sensible heads worked out a solution which was that India would become a republic and remain in the Commonwealth, recognizing the British monarch as "Head of the Commonwealth" and "a symbol of the voluntary association" of independent countries. While the Queen is strongest champion of the Commonwealth family of nations, she has no executive authority over the organization.
Other countries that became independent of Britain and chose to become republics have continued as members of the Commonwealth on the same basis as India. Among those countries are three Caribbean ones: Dominica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. Indeed, more recently, other republics that were never colonies of Britain have become members of the Commonwealth. These are: Cameroon, Mozambique, and Rwanda.
Republican status is not incompatible with Commonwealth membership, and I am confident that Jamaica would not leave the Commonwealth if it becomes a republic. Jamaica derives no disadvantage from its membership of the Commonwealth. Indeed, its membership brings it great benefits, among which are: technical assistance in a range of skill-areas in which it lacks sufficient expertise; advocacy for dealing with issues that affect it such as debt and trade; and help in training people to deal with HIV/AIDS , and mitigating against the harmful effects of climate change. Additionally, Jamaican professionals, including judges, lawyers, engineers, nurses and teachers belong to Commonwealth organizations that provide them with a vast network of contacts across over 50 nations that help to improve their knowledge and access to resources.
The associated question put to me is also interesting: should Jamaica decide to become a republic, will it influence governments of the remaining independent Caribbean countries that are still monarchies to do the same? The answer is not necessarily yes. Two years ago, the government of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in St. Vincent and the Grenadines received a resounding "no" from the people when the issue was included in a referendum question. About four years ago, the government of Barbados, under then Prime Minister Owen Arthur, had also declared itself for a republic with no unanimous support for the idea. Further, the fact that three Commonwealth Caribbean countries have been republics for many years has not encouraged other Caribbean states to follow.
Circumstances in each Caribbean country are different. Their governments will each have to weigh carefully the sentiment of the people before they risk a referendum on republican status.
In Jamaica, the matter could be decided easily if the two political parties agree that the time has come to cut the monarchical knot. Such a decision will not affect Jamaica's membership of the Commonwealth, nor will it cause other non-republican governments in the Commonwealth Caribbean to follow.
Sir Ronald Sanders is a member of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group appointed to recommend ways to reform the Commonwealth. Get more info at: www.sirronaldsanders.com.
Reprinted with the permission of Caribbean News Now.
Today, 45 years to the day of the attainment of majority rule, there is chronic and widespread ignorance of our system of government and national constitution. Sadly, no longer surprisingly, so-called "informed" people in civil society, academia, business and "the press corps" are among the woefully uninformed.
Many of them regurgitate effluvia on the supposed problems of our parliamentary democracy on matters ranging from "checks and balances" to collective responsibility and the constitutional powers of the prime minister.
Mesmerized by American politics including the theatrics that substitute for news on U.S. cable news, some local commentators cannot utter "checks" without mindlessly adding "balances", with seemingly limited appreciation for either term.
The supposed corrective measures to repair our supposedly broken democracy are, to paraphrase attorney Andrew Allen in the context of shallow arguments for term limits, superficial non-solutions to imaginary problems.
One recent and egregious example is an opinion piece entitled, "The Bahamas: A Constitutional Dictatorship?" The commentary is callow. It lacks depth and breadth. One wonders how conversant the columnist is with the Bahamian constitution, our constitutional history and the rudimentary history and philosophy of parliamentary democracy.
It is important to have a diversity of opinion on the issues of the day. But opinion devoid of or sloppy with facts, by personalities helping to form the opinions of others through talk radio, television, the Internet and in the print media, is just more noise. Public dialogue is impoverished not enriched when opinions are divorced from critical thinking and fact-finding.
The column in question descended into unthinking rhetoric and a cavalcade of contradictions partly because it was based on and began with false premises, so nauseatingly repeated that they have become accepted as fact:
"We have an anachronistic, colonial governance system that is no longer suitable for the needs of our developing nation in this 21st century. We inherited this Westminster system of governance from the British."
It is difficult to take seriously opinions that get basic facts wrong. To discuss the issue of governance we need to get our language and concepts in order. The appellation Westminster system of governance is not quite precise and misses some critical differences between Bahamian and British parliamentary democracy.
For instance, at Westminster the British parliament is sovereign. There is no supreme law or written constitution in Britain. By a simple majority of parliament in Britain fundamental rights can be altered and the monarchy itself can be abolished.
The Bahamas has a written constitution with clearly defined checks on power. Before certain fundamental provisions of the constitution (entrenched and specially entrenched) can be changed, a two-thirds or three-quarters majority vote of both Houses of Parliament is required.
Furthermore, the proposed changes must be approved by the electorate in a referendum before they can become law. This process is an innovation that is not enjoyed by all parliamentary democracies, including some in the Caribbean.
It gives the Bahamian people direct control over the fundamental provisions of the Constitution, including provisions relating to citizenship, fundamental rights and freedoms, and the establishment of our national governmental institutions.
There are frameworks, templates and provisions utilized by most countries, including former British colonies, in the drafting of national constitutions. Still, The Bahamas does not have a cookie cutter constitution. Any suggestion to that effect is misleading and does not fully acknowledge or appreciate the role played by our constitutional fathers in the framing of the independence constitution.
A number of the customs and traditions used in the much larger British parliamentary system are not germane to and would be unworkable in our context. With a 650-member House of Commons compared to our much smaller House of Assembly, our practice of parliamentary democracy is necessarily different.
The assertion that we have a colonial system of governance in itself is patently not true. Furthermore, it contradicts the assertion, made in the same breath, that we have a Westminster model of governance.
Under the colonial system of governance the Colony of the Bahama Islands had a parliament that was, in the words of the late Bahamian constitutional expert the Hon. Eugene Dupuch, "representative but not responsible".
There was no Cabinet, but there was an Executive Council, presided over by the British governor, who enjoyed enormous power. There was also a system of boards, forerunners to government ministries, with the governor enjoying ultimate control over major decisions by the boards.
The dismantling of that colonial system began with the 1964 Constitution that was negotiated in London the previous year. That Constitution ushered in a large measure of internal self-rule with the British governor still retaining some powers including defense, security and foreign affairs. That process continued with the 1969 Constitution, when more power devolved to the Cabinet, and was completed with the Independence Constitution of 1973.
Thanks to the foresight of our Bahamian constitutional fathers who adeptly negotiated with the British, The Bahamas is now a modern, stable, successful parliamentary democracy. While there were differences between the Bahamian political parties at the Independence Conference on a few matters relating to rights, there was general agreement on matters of governance.
We no more have a colonial system of governance than India, Australia, Jamaica, Barbados or Canada, fellow parliamentary democracies in the Commonwealth of Nations. Anything but anachronistic, this system has proven to be durable, flexible and workable across cultures, countries and centuries.
Unfortunately, many who should know better believe that parliamentary democracy itself is antiquated, and that the United States has a better system of government, and one that is inherently more advisable or workable. This is a fallacy to which we will have to return.
There are many non-Commonwealth nations which have opted for parliamentary democracy. They have similarly discovered a certain genius within the system, the rudiments of which are hundreds of years old having evolved into one of the more effective systems of government in human history.
Note: This is the first installment of the series, "Understanding Bahamian Parliamentary Democracy". Subsequent columns will review various topics including "checks and balances", term limits, the U.S. system of government and the merits and flexibility of parliamentary democracy.
A Supreme Court judge yesterday dismissed a lawsuit against the Royal Bahamas Police Force by two brothers who claimed they were victims of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
Maurice Forbes said he got into a traffic accident with Bobby Walker while driving on Baillou Hill Road around 5 a.m. on September 6, 2008.
Officers 1856 Sands and 2697 Forbes, who were on mobile patrol, responded to the accident. Maurice phoned his mother Deserian Forbes, who later arrived on the scene with his brother Adrian.
Police charged the brothers with the offenses of disorderly behavior, assaulting a police officer, using obscene language and threats of death. The charges were dismissed on January 20, 2009 because the witnesses, except one, failed to appear to testify.
During the civil suit before Justice Stephen Isaacs, both brothers admitted that they used obscenities.
Isaacs determined that the "officers acted within the ambit of the law as they had ample evidence that the plaintiffs had committed the offenses of using obscene language and behaving in a disorderly manner. There is prima facie evidence that the plaintiffs assaulted the officers and issued threats of death, but that evidence is not as clear as the evidence relative to using obscene language and disorderly behavior."
Isaacs also dismissed a claim of aggravated assault by Adrian Forbes, who claimed he was severely beaten by as many as six officers.
Isaacs said, "The officers on the scene were required to maintain control of the scene of the accident as well as the people on the scene. Adrian by his written admission was hostile and challenged the police. The police were required to control him. His pleaded case of sustaining injures has not been proven by any medical evidence."
The judge noted that the evidence showed that Adrian confronted the police when he arrived at the scene and resisted arrest. Maurice also admitted using obscene language and disorderly behavior. Consequently the first officers on the scene had to call for assistance.
"In my judgment the defendants were required to use such force as was necessary to effect the arrest of the plaintiffs," Isaacs said. "No aggravated assault has been proven."
The court also rejected the claim of malicious prosecution, saying, "In the instant case there is a preponderance of evidence on which the defendants could form a reasonable and probable cause to lay the charges of use of obscene language, assault and disorderly behavior at the very least. The fact that the plaintiffs were discharged due to the non-appearance of witnesses is not relevant consideration to determine if reasonable and probable cause existed."
The judge said that Constable 941 Elvies, who was not on the scene, conducted an investigation and based on his findings laid the charges.
Isaacs ordered the parties to bear their own costs.
Edward Turner and Owen Wells appeared for the plaintiffs. Kayla Green-Smith and Olivia Pratt-Nixon appeared for the defendants.
Now that the general election has been concluded in Jamaica, with the return to high office by the People's National Party (PNP) led by comrade Portia Simpson Miller (Sister P), it is only a matter of weeks before Hubert Alexander Ingraham will be obliged to ring the bell here in The Bahamas.
On Wednesday past, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) ratified its final slate of candidates for the upcoming general election, which will be called not later than May of this year. Twenty-four hours later, the Free National Movement (FNM) followed suit and announced its entire slate of standard bearers. The Democratic National Alliance (DNA), which has promised to field a full complement of candidates for the thirty-eight constituencies, has so far announced thirty, with eight to be announced shortly. As the stage is now virtually set for the clash of the titans, we thought it would be interesting to Consider This... given the candidates who have thus far been announced by the three parties, is it now possible to read the tea leaves in order to gain a better perspective of the likely outcome of the impending battle for the ballots?
The FNM's announcement of its candidates carried a dual message - one relative to the incumbents who would not seek reelection as well as the large number of newcomers to the political fray. The most surprising announcement was that Brent Symonette, the deputy leader, would not run. For a while now, it was rumored that Earl Deveaux would not be included on the FNM ticket and this too was confirmed by his omission from the party's roster of candidates. Notwithstanding the prime minister's political spin about his disappointment in not being able to persuade his deputy to run again, these two announcements are more significant for what was not said than the words of regret that were said about Mr. Symonette's decision.
We believe that the more likely reason for not including these two gentlemen on the ticket was motivated more by Ingraham's 2012 election strategy, which he recently foreshadowed at the opening of the straw market. On that occasion, he said that voters will have to decide whether they want to continue moving forward with his unparalleled record of achievements of the last five years -- the construction of the national stadium, the tremendously impressive upgrades at the Lynden Pindling International Airport -- just to mention a few, all in the face of an anemic economic environment. Alternatively, Ingraham rhetorically asked: "Or will Bahamians prefer to return to the other party that has been constantly "caught with its hands in the cookie jar"? That, in a nutshell, will form the basis of his 2012 campaign.
By dropping these two gentlemen, Ingraham sought to remove the targets of any criticism that can be launched by the PLP or the DNA regarding conflicts of interest, abuse of office and personal enrichment relative to the road works project and the potentially questionable involvement of his minister for the environment relative to land deals, such as the Bell Island controversy.
The FNM will field 17 new candidates; seven sitting members of Parliament are moving to new constituencies and 14 persons are offering in the same constituencies. In reading the tea leaves, has the FNM decided to move its incumbents because they believe that most of them cannot gain a win from the residents of the constituencies that they have represented for five years?
The PLP is fielding 22 new candidates, five more than the FNM, and 16 persons are offering in the same constituencies in which they previously ran, 12 of whom are currently in the House of Assembly. In reading the tea leaves, the most important question is whether some of those persons who are seeking to return to Parliament for the PLP will face staunch opposition for some of the political baggage that they are carrying, or will the voters overlook their perceived shortcomings? More importantly, as some say happened in 2002, how will those questionable PLP candidates impact the party's national chances of winning a majority of seats?
Most of the PLP candidates, incumbents and newcomers, have been in the field longer than the FNM, giving the voters more time to get to know them. This should give the PLP an advantage over their newly-announced FNM opponents. The extent to which the PLP will be able to capitalize on that advantage will largely depend on how much time will elapse before the bell is rung, announcing the official start of the contest. In addition, the caliber of new PLP candidates, man for man and pound for pound, is more impressive than those presented by the other two parties. The important question is whether this race will be characterized by an in-depth assessment of the individual candidates or will we revert to a presidential style election where greater emphasis will be placed on the leaders of the respective parties. Finally, Bahamians will be interested in determining which party will better articulate a vision for the country and what measures will be advanced by each to address the complex issues that face us.
The PLP's campaign is likely to focus on the FNM government's performance regarding the record-breaking level of violent crime over the past five years, the dramatic escalation in the national debt, and the extraordinary opportunities extended to foreign contractors and foreign workers in The Bahamas at a time of unprecedentedly elevated episodes of Bahamian unemployment. In short, the PLP will commit to reversing this trend and return to its core values of putting Bahamians first.
With the exception of its leader, none of the DNA candidates has any parliamentary experience. Most of them are new to politics. Therefore the essential question is whether the electorate is so disaffected and disillusioned with the two behemoths that they will decide to give this fledging party a chance at governing The Bahamas. More importantly, to what extent will the DNA be a spoiler? How many votes will they subtract from the FNM and the PLP and will it make a difference in determining the outcome of certain constituencies and therefore the election?
At this juncture of the campaign, there are many unknowns that will become clearer as the campaign progresses. One of the most impactful variables is the question of money. It is widely perceived that the FNM will be better funded than the other two parties and the amount of largess that will be disbursed will definitely affect the outcome, particularly in the current economic climate.
The stage is set and the horses are in the starting gates. Our reading of the tea leaves is that the race is close, in fact too close to call at this point. In very short order, it will be left to the electorate to interpret those tea leaves and choose a government that will be entrusted with the next five years of our lives.
Philip C. Galanis is themanaging partner of HLB Galanis & Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bahamas Women's Tennis Open's chief organizer, Tyrone Olander, has confirmed that the Ministry of Tourism is at the moment, disconnected from the event.
However, he is not panicking. While the view here certainly is that it makes all the sense in the world for the government's entity that drives tourism to be associated fully with such an event, it is courageous indeed that Olander is pushing on.
Olander "was hoping that they (the Ministry of Tourism) would come on board this year" but it doesn't look now like that will happen. Nevertheless, cemented in his mind is the tremendous potential the sports/tourism event has.
"Remember, this was a first time event and The Bahamas and/or the Caribbean had never hosted a major tournament of this magnitude. We did not expect to be profitable this first event. We just wanted to stage it successfully so that we could convince the ITF (International Tennis Federation) that we can be a regular stop on the Pro Circuit Tour. We did that. The Bahamas is the real winner here.
"I'm a virtually unknown Bahamian to most people today, having been living in Chicago for the past 15 years. I came home to bring major sporting events to The Bahamas. I came here and got a franchise for an ITF event and others had never even done this or even attempted to do this before.
"We are blessed by this tournament in that we are in a position where we are assured of getting more than half of the 100 ranked players in the world, by means of this tournament being requested by these players that get eliminated early in the Indian Wells Tournament. They then have to sit out a week before going to the next mandatory tournament next door in Miami. That's why the ITF created this week for them, so, half of the 100 ranked players who are eliminated early will come to The Bahamas Open," informed Olander.
I applaud the effort of Olander and his associates. As pointed out in this space previously, getting an ITF-sanctioned event on our turf is huge for the national sports program. The hosting of such an event, takes The Bahamas to another sports power level. Hopefully the other sponsors that stepped up for the 2011 event will remain in the mix. It is important though that in the immediate future, the Ministry of Tourism reconnects with the Bahamas Women's Tennis Open.
Both parties, in the interest of boosting sports tourism, need to find a way to sit down, have a discussion, resolve whatever issues there are, shake hands and get onto the same page once again.
Quite frankly, this ought to happen. Minister of Tourism Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace and his Sports Director Tyrone Sawyer should be willing to have a meaningful role in any major sports/tourism happening in the country. Accordingly, I don't think Olander and company have the luxury to be satisfied to continue into the future without the support of the Ministry of Tourism in various forms.
Sports Tourism in The Bahamas will be best served if when the 2012 Bahamas Women's Tennis Open begins on March 12, a comfort zone has been reached and Minister Vanderpool-Wallace, Sawyer and Olander are sitting together at the national center.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com)
The change of the guard which has taken place on the gridiron is not settling well with the "old shooters", the Baoilco Jets and the Orry J. Sands Pros, which are usually the two top teams in the Commonwealth American Football League (CAFL).
For years, the Pros and Jets battled it out for the pennant title and the Boil Fish Bowl crown. The two squads usually overcame the other teams during the season and in the playoffs to ensure that they met on the line of scrimmage for the Boil Fish title. However, this time around, only one will make it to 'The Big Dance'.
After losing the pennant to the V8-Fusion Splash Stingrays, the Pros and Jets were seeded second and third respectively in the league, and as a result, will square off, in a one game elimination match to make the championship. The Stingrays, the top team, will play the fourth seeded Sunburners on Sunday and the Jets and Pros will battle Saturday, January 27. The season will culminate with the Boil Fish Bowl set for February 4. All games will be played at the D.W. Davis Field.
Head Coach of the Stingrays, Lawrence Hepburn, is looking forward to Sunday's affair against the Sunburners. He said the real challenge will be either dethroning the Pros or beating the Jets convincingly. The Pros are the defending champions in the league.
"It is certainly going to be a challenge, us playing either the Pros or the Jets,"
said Hepburn. "We beat both of them convincingly during the regular season, but we all know that teams step up their games during the playoffs, so we expect a good game but before we can look to either one of those teams, we will have to concentrate on the game against the Sunburners. Just because we defeated them twice this season, that doesn't mean that they will not come out to play on Sunday. There is no guarantee that we will waltz into the championship. They have a young squad and they are playing very well. I am predicting a win over them. We will give them a good game, play some of our veterans and then go to the bench. I am not going out there to run up the score, just play and use the game to prepare."
Hepburn, who sits on the CAFL Council, said he was pleased with the level of play this year, but is disappointed that only four teams participated. In past years, more than six teams competed for the title. During that time, squads from Grand Bahama also took part. The head coach said more time and effort, from all parties involved, will be needed so the league can grow.
He said: "We were pleased to have the Sunburners return. They are a young team with a bright future, so we look to having more teams join us. Hopefully one or two of the teams from the flag football league will decide to join us during their off-season. That mix will be welcomed and will add flavor to the league. Since we don't have a feeder program, we look to them for assistance, in terms of building our league.
"We were able to upgrade the field, keeping the facility looking fine. We got a lot of comments from persons coming out to watch the games, so we did make some progress and look to build on it for next season."
The first playoff game will start at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. The other sudden death playoff game will get underway at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 27.
By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
BAMBOO Town MP Branville McCartney denied claims yesterday that he started the DNA party with former MP for South Andros, Whitney Bastian.
Mr Bastian told reporters at a press conference on Sunday that he and Mr McCartney formed the DNA after both were fed up with the two major political parties.
"Both Mr McCartney and myself joined together to form the DNA party. I played a role and he played a role. We had many meetings for many hours in his office. But it all changed when I was rejected by the party," he said.
"I saw him one day in his office after I was interviewed by the candidates committee and he said to me: & ...