Today the fact remains that they – in their decisive majority- decided in recently held general elections that they were sick and tired of Mr. Ingraham, his style of governance in hard times.
And [of course] they rejected him because of the fact that he seemed –in his last days- to be quite out of touch with reality as they experienced it; with their homes on the auction block; with their sons and daughters hungry- and with their future prospects seemingly dim.
These people voted Mr. Ingraham and his FNM crew out.
Indeed, once the vote had been done and the numbers tallied, we learn that the preponderant majority of the nearly 156,000 persons who cast their votes — a turnout of 91 percent of the registered voters — rejected Hubert Ingraham and all that he stood for in these hard economic times.
What is today so very remarkable has to do with not only Ingraham’s immediate reaction that consisted of his decision to be gone; but also in the decisive manner by which the book has been closed on this man and what he seemed to represent as the reins of power slipped from his once-sure grasp.
And so, now that Loretta Butler-Turner and Charles Maynard have been brought forward by their peers in the Free National Movement to serve as Deputy and Chair, respectively; we wait like so very many other Bahamians to see how they jell with their Leader, Dr. Hubert Minnis.
Evidently, we also wait to see and understand whether the Free National Movement – in this latest incarnation – has found that kind of leadership that might help it regain its fighting form.
Today we congratulate the new team; wish it well and pray God’s blessings on their endeavors on behalf of the Bahamian people.
As regards the Free National Movement’s choice of Dr. Minnis as its leader, we note that, in a unanimous vote, the Free National Movement Members-Elect of the House of Assembly after consultation with the Central Council of the FNM invited this man to serve as Leader of the Official Opposition.
This he did; and now with the choices of Turner-Butler, Maynard and Bannister – this new leader’s team is in place.
For the record we also take note of Dr. Minnis’ solemn pledge – “… to work with the Government in the best interest of the Bahamian people…”
This is precisely how things like this should be done.
This transition in the leadership of the Free National Movement signals the end of an era; and the beginning of a newly minted leadership.
Interestingly, this is today being signaled not only by people who identify themselves as supporters of the FNM; but also by any number of other politically conscious Bahamians.
As we have previously noted: Once the dust had settled on Election Day, the once high and mighty Free National Movement had won only three of the 23 seats in New Providence, both seats in Abaco, two of the five seats in Grand Bahama, and two of the eight seats in the other Family Islands.
Furthermore, the new information coming in showed that only four of Ingraham’s 17 Cabinet ministers survived the contest, with notable losses by veteran politicians Tommy Turnquest, Zhivargo Laing, Desmond Bannister, Charles Maynard and Carl Bethel.
One FNM Minister who did prevail was Dr. Hubert Minnis – this because he remained connected to the people who called him forward; and clearly also, they reciprocated.
The rest of the story is today being played out as this man and his team take full control of the helm in a Free National Movement that must now work diligently to not only put its house in order; but also to rally its dispirited base.
They are well on their way; and for sure, they chose well when they chose – by acclamation- Dr. Hubert Minnis to lead them through what must be a treacherously nasty time.
By so doing, they upended each and every prophecy and puzzle that suggested that the Free National Movement had been left both bereft and in despair as they licked their wounds.
For a moment [and evidently only for a moment] some in the party dared wonder about who would lead and whether that person could fill Ingraham’s admittedly big shoes.
They found the man; and he is Dr. Hubert Minnis.
As we previously suggested, for some in the FNM the jockeying was done artfully and in full mimicry of the nation’s erstwhile Chief; while for others, the game was played with more finesse.
And so, today we congratulate the new team at the helm of this nation’s Official Opposition.