Franka Bernardine, who was elected as Political Leader of the main opposition National Democratic Leader (NDC) on 3 November 2019, resigned from the position as of 25 November 2020.
“It is with regret that I have taken the decision to step out of politics for medical reasons. My doctors have indicated that the stress levels are too high, and I run the risk of shortening my life,” Bernardine said in a video statement issued on the party’s Facebook page.
“The stress is having a very negative impact on my health and has created a number of factors that will disappear if the stress factor is reduced. So, I have little choice. For medical reasons, I must resign from both positions,” she said in the special announcement video in which she was introduced by Glen Noel who is the General Secretary of the party.
She also resigns as the caretaker for the South East St George’s constituency.
Bernardine gave the assurance that the NDC will continue to be her choice of political support. “Let me assure you that NDC will always be my party… I am right here and will lend support to the party.” She reminded party supporters that political leadership was always agreed to be a one-year run. “I agreed to let it run for one year and will see how things develop,” she said.
Bernardine was appointed Minister for Education after the NDC won the 2008 General Election. Leading up to the election she was chairman of the Civil Society grouping which was equivalent to a pressure group. Following the party’s loss at the 2013 General Election, she continued to serve as an executive member of the Party as public relations officer.
In both the 2013 and 2018 general election, she was unable to capture the majority of votes to win the seats she contested.
Terrence Moore, Chairman of the Party who is also featured in the video, thanked Bernardine for her service and acknowledged that her contribution to the party was instrumental in its growth and development over the past year. “She has been an integral part of the party…we wish her God’s blessing, health and strength and best wishes,” he said.
The resignation was submitted to the party executive in a letter dated 25 November. Neither General Secretary, Glen Noel who introduced Bernardine to make the statement, nor Moore who thanked her for her service announced who will fill the vacancy she has left void.