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Chipman Leaves FNM

Centreville Member of Partliament Reece Chipman gives his contribution inside of the House of Assembly yesterday.

Centreville Member of Parliament Reece Chipman resigned from the Free National Movement (FMN) on Thursday because of partisan politics and “insecure leadership”.

He sent his resignation letter to FNM Chairman Carl Culmer and House Speaker Halson Moultrie and explained that he can better serve his constituents by going independent.

Chipman asked Moultrie to be reseated in accordance with the parliamentary system and made a request to address his parliamentary colleagues for five minutes in the House of Assembly during its next sitting.

Since leaving the public accounts committee in January, Chipman said he was having thoughts of leaving back then, but wanted to give the party an opportunity to see if their direction benefited the people.

But a list of issues such as a mismanagement of political institutions and parliament push him to move.

“There is a huge disconnected between the parliament and the people and I am no longer able to sit back to allow that to happen. I am not prepared to sit back and watch a parliament not follow the very laws they enact, but yet dream of a lawful society and a lawful culture,” Chipman said during yesterday’s press conference, where he announced his resignation.

“It continues to baffle me, the fact that people would have present petitions, written petitions, signed petitions, to the House of Assembly that went unanswered. A ruling of the house with regards to the Public Accounts Committee that has to be fortified. 

“Standard committees of the House of Assembly go without reports to house bills being passed without accompanying regulations and a lack of policies.”

Chipman said he made calls to the prime minister to have a meeting with him to address his concerns, but never got a response. 

Not to mention, he believed his sister Fontella Chipman-Rolle’s outburst in the house placed a wedge between him and his fellow MPs.

Despite the history of independent candidates in elections, Chipman is confident that he has enough support from his constituents and doesn’t feel compelled to join any other political parties at the moment.

“Right now, I’m not entertaining parties unless the parties commit themselves to changing the constitution to making the Bahamian people the beneficiaries of their party and the Bahamas,” he said.

“At this point, my independence is about partisan politics. I don’t agree with it and their constitution. They pick candidates and the people of the constituency don’t even know who they picked and that’s not democracy to me.”

The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) has showed Chipman support. 

In a statement from PLP Leader Philip Davis, he admitted that the PLP is not surprised that Chipman resigned. 

“We have watched how a young professional Bahamian was deliberately misled, abused and frustrated by a leadership which disrespected him,” Davis said.  

“As leader of the opposition, I have watched his concerns. I thought that he was making genuine contributions to the common good of our Commonwealth and did not deserve the disrespect.”

At this time, Chipman could not say whether he would support the opposition’s vote of no confidence and the Disaster Management Bill. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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