Former Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson refuted commentary that said the Free National Movement will be unable to mend itself after this year’s general convention.
Mr. Watson spoke with The Journal outside of the convention at the Melia Nassau Beach Resort and used the opportunity to reiterate his support for Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner in her bid for leadership.
“I’m voting for Ms. Butler-Turner definitely,” he said.
“In circumstances such as these we don’t support the person that we like or have a particular relationship with.
“We are asked to support the person who has the best opportunity of beating the government at the next election,” Mr. Watson said.
As far as the convention itself, Mr. Watson said things should run smoothly as far as he is concerned.
“I expect this year to be a very regulated and normal convention.Where everybody will have their say, make their vote and leave here as a united party,” Mr. Watson said
With regard to the internal rift Mr. Watson said post convention, things should return to normal.
Watson summed up the disputes that have played out in the media as simply a part of the democratic process.
“As far as the infighting is concerned I don’t feel it has been about the philosophy of the party.
“It has been about whom we want as leader and I think that is normal in a democracy.
“You have these opportunities to choose your leader to take you forward.
“Once the votes are counted and the leader is announced there should be no issue,” Mr. Watson said.
He was first elected to the House of Assembly to represent the Carmichael constituency in 1982 and was returned as Member of Parliament for the Adelaide constituency in 1987.
He was re-elected to represent the Adelaide constituency in 1992 and 1997. He has served under the FNM administration as Minister of Public Works and Utilities, Minister of Tourism and Public Enterprises, and Minister of National Security.
Mr. Watson and his successor Brent Symonette have both come out on record in support of the Butler-Turner -Sands ticket.
The FNM leadership race culminates this Friday after months of buildup and campaigning from both sides.
Delegates will vote for incumbents Dr. Hubert Minnis and his deputy East Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest or the challengers Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner and recent FNM senator elect Dr. Duane Sands.
The FNM General Convention continues through Friday.