Categorized | National News

NO RIFT IN FNM- Minnis Speaks Out

Despite numerous media reports of a rift in the Free National Movement (FNM) in the wake of the party’s defeat at the polls last Monday, party leader Dr. Hubert Minnis unequivocally denied allegations of growing tension within the FNM.

Reports of trouble brewing among factions in the embattled party began even before a winner had been announced for the North Abaco bye-election.

Former North Abaco Member of Parliament and former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham issued what appeared to be a concession speech ahead of a winner being named in last Monday’s contest and without being authorised to do so.

The move struck many political commentators as odd with many left questioning whether the former prime minister was still leading the FNM even while Dr. Minnis was the party’s duly elected leader.

Dr. Minnis subsequently released a statement after it became more apparent that the FNM’s candidate for the bye-election Greg Gomez was unsuccessful in his bid.

In his statement, Dr. Minnis declared that the “era of Hubert Ingraham” was over and the FNM was looking toward its future.

Those comments set off a firestorm of media reports questioning the status of the FNM and whether there was a rift between the current and past leaders of the party.

However, Dr. Minnis told the Bahama Journal Sunday, that those reports were just overblown and that his party remains united and intact.

He endorsed the responses given by his Deputy Leader Loretta Butler Turner during a news conference last week to address these reports.

At the time, Mrs. Butler-Turner said the FNM, which is only five months into a new leadership team, is still going through a transitional period.

The Long Island MP acknowledged that Dr. Minnis has still not earned the trust of all within the party but she said these changes do not occur overnight.

“Loretta Butler-Turner said it eloquently,” Dr. Minnis said. “There is no rift within our party. The party is preparing itself for a 2017 victory. The party has an open tent; we are building and expanding our leadership base and we are preparing for 2017.”

“The party will grow from strength to strength and there is no rift. We will continue to work together to build the FNM and build to the organisation into a party that will be prepared for tomorrow and always be prepared for tomorrow.”

Dr. Minnis also attempted to set the record straight about reports of a meeting of the party’s top executives being abruptly cancelled because of the rising tension.

“We normally have our meetings on the last Thursday of every month and that meeting is scheduled for this Thursday,” he said. “This is a regular monthly meeting where our Family Island representatives and all others would know that this is scheduled and they would make provisions and attend on regular basis.”

The FNM leader refused to comment on the statements he made regarding his predecessor last week and when further pressed about those comments, Dr. Minnis said, “I made my statement and I have no other comments to say about that.”

The FNM is now trying to move past last Monday’s bye-election loss– its second such blow since its crushing general election loss in May.

FNM Acting Chairman Darron Cash yesterday said despite media reports, Dr. Minnis enjoys his party’s support.
“I’m confident that Dr. Minnis is going to begin, now that the election season is behind us, to demonstrate the kind of energy and passion and focus that the party wants to see, that the public is looking to see as well,” he said while on the Love 97FM Sunday talk show, Jones & Company yesterday.
“As Parliament really gets busy people are going to see more of that. People will see the party a lot more engaged in the communities. I think once that happens people are going to begin to stop asking the question of how long is Dr. Minnis is going to be the leader. If he did not enjoy that level of support he would not have become the leader unanimously without opposition.”
Meantime, Dr. Minnis said the Opposition is mounting a new fight in the House of Assembly and that is to have the government provide it with a copy of the legislative session ahead of parliamentary sessions.

“We have not been informed yet by the government what the agenda will be in the House on Wednesday,” he said. “I hope members of the press can use their pressure to have the government inform us of what the agenda for Wednesday will be because we do not want to wait until Tuesday to find out and risk being ill-prepared.”

The House is expected to meet on Wednesday during which time newly elected North Abaco MP Renardo Curry is expected to take his seat adding to the government’s majority in the lower chamber.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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