The new leadership of the Free National Movement (FNM) said it is on a mission to rebuild, refocus and revitalise the party, preparing it to once again win the Government of The Bahamas in 2017.
At the party’s special one-day convention held at the Holy Trinity Activities Centre on Saturday, new FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis, his new Deputy Leader Loretta Butler-Turner and the FNM’s new Chairman Charles Maynard all the sold the message to party supporters that it is time to start afresh and regain the ground that they lost.
Let us embark on a new day,” Dr. Minnis said. Our tasks are to renew our party, revitalise our plans, rebuild confidence, and return as the next government of this great commonwealth.
“The Free National Movement will rise from this defeat like a phoenix, emerging with greater strength, wisdom and fortitude. Our torch will never be extinguished. We are keepers of the flame. We are torchbearers. We are the accelerants to ignite the fire. We will continue to ignite the future in our country and in our party.”
The FNM suffered a crushing blow at the polls during the May 7 General Election, capturing just nine of the 38 seats up for grabs.
Many political pundits have offered a variety of reasons as to why one of the two major parties in the country lost so much ground and was practically blown out of the race.
FNM leaders and members themselves said they were surprised by the election numbers but have vowed to take the loss in stride and bounce back.
“The task before us now is one of renewal and rebuilding,” Deputy Leader Mrs. Butler-Turner added. “We must renew our mission and ideals. We must rebuild our party, not just in order to secure victory at the polls. We seek to rebuild our party because we know beyond a doubt that we are the better party for The Bahamas.
“We are the party of integrity and ideas. We are the party of good governance and accountability. We are the party of genuine care and compassion, especially for the least among us. And, we are the party that has demonstrated our commitment to equality and the advancement of the rights of Bahamian women. Though we have lost an election, our hearts and our aspirations are undefeated. Our heads are unbowed. Our spirits remain strong. Our hope will never die.”
As for Mr. Maynard, it is now all about infiltrating The Bahamas and getting FNMs in every sector in the country.
He said the party is now rebuilding itself to lead a well oiled machine in time for a 2017 victory.
“We are strong alive and well,” he said. “And you will see that. You will see that because we will be in your neighbourhoods, we will be at your doorsteps eager, ready and willing to listen and to work to rebuild.
“So Torchbearers I out you on notice, Women’s Association I put you on notice, branches from Inagua to Abaco I put you on notice. We will regain the government.”
The FNM chairman reminded supporters that adversity bears a special kind of strength and told them that the FNM will never be broken.