STATEMENT BY MARLENE NAHON

First and foremost, I wish to convey my deep condolences to the family of the late Charles Bruzon MP, a good man, with integrity and steadfast principles.

After very serious consideration, I decided to put my name forward as the GSD candidate for this by-election. I do so out of love and a deep concern for our community.

I have no agenda other than to make a positive contribution to Gibraltar. I also believe our parliament is in desperate need of diversity with the inclusion of something other than the overwhelming number of lawyers representing parties on both sides.

Although I considered running as an independent candidate, it is no secret that my political views have always been close to the GSD. The GSD was born out of the demise of the AACR and my father endorsed it as the philosophical flag bearers of his core beliefs. When the GSD were considering not fielding a candidate at this by election, I fundamentally disagreed with that point of view because I believed the people of Gibraltar deserved a real democratic choice at the polls, especially because the Government is not at risk in this by-election.

In those circumstances, as an independent thinker and in order to ensure that the values that are important to me were being represented, I considered running as an independent candidate. I was therefore delighted that last week, the Executive Committee of the GSD overwhelmingly voted in favour of contesting this by-election and I was honoured to be asked to consider putting my name forward to be the GSD candidate.

Like most Gibraltarians at the end of 2011, I expected to see how a new administration would make changes after an incumbency of 16 years.

However, 18 months into this new government I find myself disillusioned and concerned for the future direction of this community. The GSLP-Liberals promised a New Dawn and change, and, quite frankly they have failed to deliver either.

We are dealing with a government that promised all things to all men in order to get elected. One that as well as giving false expectations to our youth, is showing a complete lack of judgement diplomatically, in their handling of the fishing crisis, and one that is justifying its inactions or erroneous decisions by passing the buck to the previous administration. This is not what people voted for.

I am a wife and mother of four. I care about how your children and mine will grow up and what the future will hold for them all. We were told in 2011 that Gibraltar was bankrupt and on the brink of collapse. The then aspiring government were spreading the message that we had little left in the kitty, that our public debt was too high and that our public finances were in a ruinous state.

If they believed their own rhetoric, how can they stand today announcing huge capital projects, and continuing to promise everything to everyone? Did they mislead us then or are they misleading us now?

I am bipartisan and collegiate by nature and I would like to promote an atmosphere of co-operation in Parliament. If the government changes its course and begins to make decisions that are right for the future of Gibraltar I will be the first one to stand up and acknowledge this.

I am proud to be the GSD candidate at this by-election and I am touched by the party‚Äôs belief that I can add value to the Opposition. I thank everyone in the GSD for their support and feel encouraged by their words as well as the wider public’s good wishes.

I urge people to exercise their democratic right to vote in this by-election and vote for me, someone who will listen to your concerns, will represent your needs honestly and will always talk straight.

Thank you.

6 June 2013

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