Categorized | National News

FNM Battle Heats Up

The major candidates vying for the top two posts within the Free National Movement (FNM) have now made their intentions known with both the chairman and deputy chairman announcing that they will go head to head for the deputy leader post.

FNM Deputy Chairman Dr. Duane Sands on Wednesday declared that he will be running for second in command at the party’s convention next month and also announced that the party’s Chairman Darron Cash has also thrown his hat in the ring for that race.

At a press conference held outside his Hawkins Hill medical practice, Dr. Sands said this is a decision that he has long prayed and thought about and realises that real leadership is needed in this country, especially for future generations.

“When I came home 20 years ago, the potential of this great country was obvious, it’s not so obvious anymore,” he said. “And so Duane Sands, as the father of four wonderful children, has decided that he is going to do his part and he is going to throw a serious blow in order to get this country back on course.

“I have chosen the vehicle of the Free National Movement because it is clear that the FNM is the best vehicle for positive progressive change in The Bahamas.”

When asked why he did not go for the top post, he reminded that he does not occupy a seat in the House of Assembly.

And while it has happened that an FNM leader served from outside the House, Dr. Sands said he thought it smart not to break the mould.

Former FNM Leader and Senator Tommy Turnquest was voted party leader in August 2001.

However, he lost his Mount Moriah parliamentary seat in the 2002 General Elections but continued to serve as leader of the FNM until November 2005.

“I think that a better model will be to not try to reinvent that wheel so if you have a leader and a deputy leader who are prepared to work together and build a team by consensus I will work closely with my leader,” he added.

And speaking of that leadership race that is expected to be one to watch, Dr. Sands said while he is not publicly aligning himself with any of the candidates for leader, he supports them both and he is prepared to serve with whomever is victorious.

That leadership race heated up earlier this week as FNM Deputy Leader Loretta Butler-Turner announced that she will campaign for the seat against leader Dr. Hubert Minnis.

“The internal conflicts, the internal issues in the FNM have become a distraction to our mission,” he admitted Wednesday. “So as I run for the deputy leadership of the party it’s my sincere plan to work with whoever is sitting in the number one position.

“Whether it’s Dr. Hubert Minnis or Loretta Butler-Turner, Duane Sands is prepared to work seamlessly and capably with either person.”

While Dr. Minnis’ leadership style has been thrown into question, Dr. Sands said Dr. Minnis has strengths but has also demonstrated that there is always room for improvement.

At the end of the day he says they are all flawed in some way, but the goal now is to put together an effective team that resonates in the hearts and minds of the Bahamian people and restoring the passion and excitement of being Bahamian.

Dr. Sands said it is evident that Bahamians are hoping for leadership they can touch and feel.

He said if elected deputy leader, he plans to bring a leadership style similar to the one he uses as a surgeon; problem focused results, oriented approach based on consensus building but being prepared to make difficult decisions.

Dr. Sands is set to launch a nationwide campaign soon.

The FNM convention is set for November 21.

Ianthia Smith

Written by Ianthia Smith

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