By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
BAMBOO Town MP Branville McCartney appointed himself leader of the DNA despite suggestions that he was elected internally, former party member Whitney Bastian has claimed.
In an interview with The Tribune, Mr Bastian said he cannot accept the official story of how Mr McCartney became leader of the party - because it was he, Mr Bastian, who had made up that story in the first place.
He said: "I advised them to tell to people the elections were over, when the truth is there were no elections. He appointed himself leader.
"When we had a meeting with potential members, we told them there was an election and the leader post was taken, but that was not true," he said.
"I dare him to say otherwise. He knows he appointed himself. If he says he didn't, let him produce the minutes of this so-called meeting where he was elected. Where was it? When was it? Who was there?
"He couldn't tell you because there was no election."
Mr Bastian said he originally planned not to say anything, but because Mr McCartney refuses to acknowledge that the former South Andros MP helped start the party, he feels compelled to speak out.
"I did not want people to think just because I did not get the nomination I was bitter and was making up things about Mr McCartney.
"I was just going to let him get beat up from the PLP and the FNM, but he started this so I'll finish it.
"He is still a novice in politics and he still has a lot to learn.
"He seems to forget I went to the Parliamentary Commissioner to negotiate on behalf of the DNA to use the lighthouse as the symbol for DNA. I didn't do that as a potential candidate, I did that as a partner.
"He seems to forget I encouraged him to leave the FNM. I told him if he didn't the Prime Minister would chap him at the knee and kill him politically."
Mr Bastian said he was going to form a party on his own, but Mr McCartney asked him to wait.
"We both decided that he would leave the FNM when the BTC issue came up. When I went to Panama, he called me and told me he couldn't wait until then. I told him I would support him in whatever he decided. After that we began working on the DNA and having long meetings. He constantly asked my advice and I have emails to the effect.
"Did he do that with every potential candidate? No, he didn't," Mr Bastian replied.
On Monday, Mr McCartney denied he started the DNA with Mr Bastian. In fact, he said, if Mr Bastian really did help form the DNA, he would have never been denied a nomination to run on the DNA ticket in South Andros.
In response, Mr Bastian said he was denied because some members of the party were afraid Mr McCartney would not win his seat and if Mr Bastian won, he would become leader of the party.
Mr Bastian said he still considers Mr McCartney to be "a brother," but said he could let his involvement in the DNA be misrepresented.
Mr Bastian is now running in the South Andros constituency as an independent candidate.
Mr McCartney could not be reached for comment last night.