Women and young people will form key voting blocs that the Free National Movement (FNM) will need in order to be successful in the 2017 General Elections said party leader Dr. Hubert Minnis as he addressed supporters during a service of thanksgiving yesterday.
Dr. Minnis called on supporters to accept the FNM’s bruising election loss and begin the work to rebuild the party and subsequently regain the government.
He said that a number of perceived missteps made by the party made the FNM less attractive to women and young voters in the last election.
During the election campaign all three political parties aggressively went after women voters and the youth vote whose influence at the polls continues to grow.
“In our single mindedness to achieve our goals, we seemed to lose sight of some of the concerns of some of our supporters and hence we lost our appeal to a significant number of young voters and indeed women voters – a critical voting bloc as they are the influences of our future,” Dr. Minnis said.
Sunday’s service at the Christian Tabernacle Church on Robinson Road was the first religious event the party has held since it lost the election on May 7 and elected its new leadership team.
“It is clear that our most urgent task must be to rebuild our support nationwide drawing more people to the torch, broadening our base and increasing our support among the electorate,” Dr. Minnis said. “Our strategic plans and programmes towards the end will be fully unveiled in the upcoming sessions and as I stand here today, God willing, we will win the next general election.”
Dr. Minnis was joined by a number of parliamentarians and senior party officers, including party Deputy Leader Loretta Butler-Turner, Chairman Charles Maynard, Montagu MP Richard Lightbourne, Member of Parliament for St. Anne’s Hubert Chipman and Senator Heather Hunt.
The FNM leader announced that the party will begin doing the groundwork to repair its relationship with the community and he also said that drawing new people to the FNM will be high on his list of priorities.
“Entrenched in our new vision is the greater involvement of our people in rebuilding support for our party,” he said. “Entrenched in our vision is the revitalisation of our community – our community partnerships, which will cement our commitment to the success of our neighbourhoods and society.
“We must return to the trenches and neighbourhoods from which we came and we must hold high the torch of hope that will light the way out of the dangerous spiral that threatens to pull our people down.”
Senior Pastor of Christian Tabernacle Apostle Christopher Russell admonished the Opposition party to pull up its sleeve and begin working to get back on track.
“Don’t be defeated,” he said. “You haven’t been defeated, you’ve only switched positions. This loss is setback. God often hides many blessings in setbacks.”