Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Bostic won’t be back for next election

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Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic confirmed recent reports of him not contesting the next general elections.

However, Bostic told the Nation News that while he is stepping down as a Member of Parliament at the end of this five-year term, he is still willing to serve the Government in any capacity that is required of him.

Making it clear that this decision was by no means an easy one, he explained that the two years of leading the charge in the fight against COVID-19 had taken a toll on himself and his family.

“One has to remember that I spent about 26 years in the Barbados Defence Force and that took a lot of time away from my children, they did not have a lot of me. So, when I started out in politics, I had planned that I would do about 15 years or so. I told persons from the beginning that this was how it was going to happen, and I would have been around for about 17 years by the end of this term. So that is 43-years of my life that I would have given in service to my country. While I made that decision before, it was really after this COVID-19 pandemic that I realised that I do not have the energy anymore,” Bostic said.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley (third from left) with Chargé d’affaires at the High Commission of Canada, Ann Cleminson, Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic (left) and Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George after the donation of vaccines from Canada to Barbados. (FILE)

The minister also noted that it has been difficult to give his constituents in The City the type of attention that they have become accustomed to.

“The City is a place that requires a lot of attention. The issue is not the Ministry of Health nor is it serving The City, but rather trying to handle both at the same time. I came into politics because I love The City and I wanted to help the people. However, over the last two years it has really taken a toll on me,” he said.

He added: “My children and grandchildren used to have lunch with me every Sunday, but I have not been able to do that for the last two years. The truth is that if I am asked to serve in any capacity the next time around, I would do so. I cannot handle being a Parliamentary representative and a Minister because people need to see you. I used to be out in The City all of the time but in recent years I have not been able to do that because of the demands of the Ministry of Health.”

He disclosed that over the years several, individuals who have been working closely with him had expressed an interest in succeeding him, but he had not gotten around to grooming someone for the role. Bostic made it clear to Nation News that he will be throwing his support behind any candidate chosen by the branch.

“I honestly do not have anyone in mind, of the persons who were close to me, one of them had expressed an interest but then he gave up on that. There were some other people who were interested but I didn’t have them in mind because those persons would not have worked with me, canvassed with me nor helped me in the branch, so I can’t say that I had a successor. However, whosoever wins the nomination can count on my full support and endorsement,” he said. (Colville Mounsey)

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