With the 2016 FNM General Convention getting into full swing , a few of the notable delegates voiced their opinions on the state of the party.
In one of the more well received speeches of the first two nights, FNM Candidate for the Pineridge Constituency Frederick McAlpine emphasized the importance of unification within the party.
“We can speak about the failures about the PLP all we want; nonetheless until we get our house, heart and head, as an organization together we too will have proved to be a present day let down to the Bahamian people.
“We must stop the infighting; we can’t tear each other apart.
“No one individual is bigger than the party; the FNM is not about one man or one woman.
Recently elected FNM Senator Ms Monique Gomez reiterated that central theme.
“I’m trusting we come out of convention unified more than we are right now.
“I’m hoping we will be mature whatever the outcome may be we will come together because at the end of the day we are all Bahamians, we’re all FNMs and we want what is best for the country
“That our party focuses on the main issues that are affecting Bahamians.
“Unemployment, crime and the rights of women,” Ms. Gomez said.
Gomez also used the opportunity to express her support for Long Island MP Loretta – Butler Turner.
“I’ve said it before but just to reiterate I’m supporting Loretta.
“This is an historical time for women and not because she is a woman but because she displays the qualities of an effective leader and we need that right now,” Ms. Gomez said.
North Eleuthera MP Theo Neilly shared a similar view, with Neilly being a longstanding supporter of Loretta Butler Turner.
“I personally do support Loretta Butler-Turner but I am prepared to move after convention with whatever leadership team is there.
“But I believe Loretta will be successful and talking to the majority of delegates they feel the same way.
“I believe in her, I’ve seen her behind the scenes.
“She is prepared, she always comes to the table with great solutions and I feel she is going to be a great leader for the party and also for this country to move us forward together,” Mr. Neilly said.
Not all persons are singing the same tune as Neilly and Gomez, even though he was scheduled to speak at last night’s session but didn’t get a chance to, FNM Senator Carl Bethel, spoke to the Journal about his optimism for the party’s future.
Mr. Bethel who has previously expressed his support Dr. Minnis said the key to winning the next general election is a party with a singular goal.
“A lot of the speakers talked about unifying the party and I agree with them.
“I’m not running from any fight but I’m not going to pick one.
“If everybody is preaching unity I urge all FNMs to take that advice.
“A party united could never be defeated,” Mr. Bethel said.
Former South Abaco MP Robert Sweeting said that he is also rocking with Doc.
“I have no reason to change from the way I voted last time; I have a great deal of admiration for Doc.
“He has kept this party together over the last four years, he is a great organizer.
“I’m here to lend my support to Dr. Minnis and meet with old friends,” Mr. Sweeting said.
The FNM General Convention continues tonight at the Melia Nassau Beach Resort.