PLP In Tizzy Over Marquis’ Return

Friday 29th, July 2011 / 10:02 Published by

John Marquis

John Marquis

Members of the Progressive Liberal Party in The Bahamas are in a tizzy over the Tribune’s announcement that former expat editor John Marquis will be writing a regular column for the paper.

The PLP blames Mr Marquis for their defeat at the polls in 2007, refusing to accept the fact that Bahamian voters just got sick and tired of Perry Christie’s indecisive dithering and his inability to reign in his rogue cabinet members.

Mr Marquis left the Tribune in 2009 to have more time to pursue his real love, writing books, several of which have been very successful.  He said at the time that he would return as a guest columnist in the not too distant future.

One of the more controversial things Mr Marquis did during his ten year reign at the Tribune, was to publish front-page pictures of PLP Minister Shane Gibson having a bedside romp with the late American starlet Anna Nicole Smith.  Since the Tribune had no website at the time, the story  probably would only have been a local scandal had not the nation’s largest website, with Marquis’ permission, published the story and turned it into world-wide news.

The fallback was so intense that it led to Mr Gibson’s resignation and his party’s defeat at the polls two months later.

Local critics called Mr Marquis a hired “journalistic assassin” and many disgruntled PLP supporters called for his deportation. Then Foreign Affairs Minister and PLP apologist Fred Mitchell allegedly went on a crusade to have the government deny Mr Marquis another work permit, which would have forced him to leave the   country.

International pressure from various free press advocates ensured that the permit was issued.  But it didn’t matter anyway, John had already decided to leave so he could finish a book he was writing and have more time to write others.

Now, with his return as a regular columnist, detractors are saying that this is merely a stunt by the Tribune to sway the upcoming general election.

Not so, says the Tribune’s publisher, Eileen Dupuch Carron, who acknowledged that it was always John’s intention to return a a columnist.

Marquis intends to write about more than politics but the mere mention of his name sends shivers up the spines of senior PLPs.

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