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David Burt commits to stepping aside in 2026 but insists he will be no lame-duck leader

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David Burt, the Premier, right, and Curtis Dickinson when they were in Cabinet together (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

David Burt has insisted he will not be a lame-duck leader if he survives a challenge to topple him as head of the Progressive Labour Party.

The Premier has repeated his pledge to stand down as PLP leader in 2026 if he is not beaten by former finance minister Curtis Dickinson tomorrow when party delegates cast their votes.

Mr Burt told The Royal Gazette: “I’ve always said that I will only serve two full terms as leader of the Progressive Labour Party.

“The Progressive Labour Party’s terms for leaders are for four years. I will serve, if elected on Thursday, until 2026 and I will not stand again for party leader.

“And that is because there is an agreement in my family. My wife and I made an agreement that we will serve two full terms.

“I will serve two full terms as leader, and at the end of this term, if I’m re-elected, I will step aside for a new party leader to take over the role of leader of the Progressive Labour Party.”

David Burt, the Premier, arrives with wife Kristin at the leadership debate at the Ruth Seaton James Auditorium (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Mr Burt, who must call a General Election in 2025 at the latest, said that setting a timetable for his departure would not make him a lame-duck leader.

He said: “Some people may say that. That’s not necessarily anything that I am worried about because the fact is the Progressive Labour Party is committed to carrying out its policies that we are going to have in government.

“There’ll be a time for certainly a transition, there’ll be certainly a time for persons to put forward their views and thoughts to the membership to formulate support among the rank and file of the party, if they want to stand for party leader in 2026, should I be successful.

“But I don’t consider it a question of lame duck. I consider it a fact that this is what we have set out and we are going to make sure that we carry out the processes.

“I actually think that in some ways and shape and form in the party, it might be helpful to have a leader that knows that he’s not running again.

“The reason why I say that is because in the Progressive Labour Party there are certainly some reforms that may need to take place, and something that sometimes besets us is the fact that persons may view those reforms in a way of someone trying to consolidate their power or to expand their power.

“But the fact is that I have set a time date for the ending of this, and I think that the reforms can be possibly viewed in a way of the betterment for the long-term health of the party versus anything about trying to extend someone’s time.”

The PLP leadership will be decided tomorrow by votes of 122 branch delegates and the party’s 30 MPs.

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Published October 19, 2022 at 6:25 am (Updated October 19, 2022 at 6:25 am)

David Burt commits to stepping aside in 2026 but insists he will be no lame-duck leader

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