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Two  of  the four so-called  “rebel  backbenchers”  of  the governing Free National Movement  apologized this past weekend in  a party  conclave for their behavior over  the  last several months.

The  Journal confirmed that Pineridge Member of Parliament Frederick McApline  apologized to Prime Minister Dr. Hubert  Minnis  “if he offended him” and Bain and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson in his remarks offered a blanket apology to the party. 

  An  FNM  Council  Member  said  the two were part of four  maverick backbenchers who voted against the government in the House of Assembly on the portion of the budget to increase Value Added Tax and a resolution to lease the Town Centre Mall for the General Post Office from Minister of  Financial Service, Trade and Industry, Brent Symonette. 

  While the other two disgruntled MPs, Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller and Centreville MP Reece Chipman addressed the conclave, they did not apologise. 

  The  Council  Member  who offered comments about the outcome of the conclave on the condition of anonymity  said, “the consensus  was that there is a communication problem between the government and supporters of the party.

The four dissatisfied MPs were accused of acting like opposition members .”

  He said many who attended the conclave were shocked that the four were not verbally attacked.

   “There must have been agreement before the conclave began not to attack the  disgruntled  MPs. On Friday, when  all parliamentarians were present, the tone  was  one  of  team sport;  tow the party line or separate. The good thing was that people got the opportunity to vent,” he said.

   FNM  members gathered in large  numbers as the party kicked off  the  conclave  on Friday at the Mackey Street Headquarters and at the Holy Trinity Activity Centre in Stapleton Gardens on Saturday. 

The two-day conclave, under the theme: “21 st. Century governance: committed to the cause” was held to conduct a “critical and frank analysis and assessment of the party in keeping with its manifesto, party principles and philosophy of governance”. 

The party also met to set a long-term strategy for the development of a think-tank, the ongoing development of new parliamentarians and party officers, and an improved communications program.

According to a statement released yesterday, “this critical assessment of the party included all aspects of the FNM including: leadership, the conduct of members of parliament and the performance of the party in government in discharging the mandate given by the Bahamian people” since the moment they took office.

This past Friday, the closed session included only members of the “parliamentary caucus”. 

The session was opened by the Prime Minister and Party Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis. 

In his address, Dr. Minnis noted that today the party’s vision is one of innovation and transformation. 

He  said that its mission is “to bring about fundamental and far-reaching change to The Bahamas”. 

The  prime minister told conclave attendees, “In just a year and a half, the party is already witnessing a new direction for the country, and that the government was succeeding on many fronts”.

The prime minister also admitted that the party made mistakes, and as a result the FNM’s accomplishments were overshadowed because of them. 

He then reiterated the party’s need to improve its communications program, which he noted that he is committed to doing. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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