By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
TWO FNM MPs vying for seats in the May 7 general elections spoke about a key leadership position that will become vacant should the FNM retain governance.
Long Island candidate Loretta Butler-Turner did not dismiss the idea of her name being put forward to succeed Brent Symonette, who gave notice in January that he was stepping down as deputy prime minister.
However, the social services minister said that issue will be dealt with after the elections when her party holds its convention and chooses a new deputy leader as Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham recently stated.
She said: "I think that certainly when there are vacant positions in our party, we certainly demonstrate a great level of democracy."
"I think that those persons that are interested in any openings will certainly throw their hats into the ring.
"In terms of me seeking that position, I think that I've heard my name mentioned in that regard, but that is something that we will have to look at after the election."
Mrs Butler-Turner says her main focus at the moment is helping her party win the Long Island seat with the same level of support she did in Montagu, despite the difference in campaign strategy.
"There's a big difference in the way we campaign in the Family Islands and the way we campaign in New Providence. First and foremost it's very fundamental."
She says the numbers in the Long Island seat are about the quarter of the size of the numbers in Montagu, meaning campaigning would be more personal with residents who expect to meet with candidates.
"I think that when you look at the support that we have in Long Island, I find very similar warmth, very similar support that I've had in Montagu."
"I believe at the end of the day that when you look at the results we got in Montagu in 2007, I think that percentage-wise, I'll be able to deliver similar percentage for the win in Long Island."
Fort Charlotte hopeful Zhivargo Laing is also among two of a number of members reportedly favoured to succeed to the post if the FNM is returned to power.
However, he too says the leadership position is not his focus at the moment.
"I'm very focused right now on winning the Fort Charlotte seat for the Free National Movement and helping the Free National Movement win the next election."
He says despite critics' opinion that he would suffer support for switching from Grand Bahama to New Providence, his campaigning is going well.