By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
ST ANNE’S MP Hubert Chipman has endorsed Dr Duane Sands for deputy leader of the Free National Movement.
In a YouTube video posted recently, Mr Chipman hailed Dr Sands as “loyal” as he urged delegates to vote for his friend and personal doctor in today’s convention.
Mr Chipman is the only sitting FNM MP to publicly endorse someone for a major position in the party ahead of its convention.
“I endorse Ernie, my friend,” Mr Chipman said. “Most of you may refer to him as Duane or even Dr Sands in the public, but I know him as Ernie, my friend. My friend is very loyal, you can count on him. I think the Bahamian public will get to know this individual as they go along. On November 21 I want you to support Ernie, Duane Sands, for the deputy leader of the Free National Movement.”
Dr Sands, currently the deputy chairman of the party, announced his intention to offer himself for the deputy leader post through a video on October 14.
He is expected to battle current party chairman Darron Cash and East Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest for the position.
Last month, Dr Sands said this country needs “real leadership” now more than ever before, adding that he is capable of providing strong leadership. “Now, more than ever, our country stands in need of real leadership, truly nationalistic leadership with integrity and focus,” he said. “I believe that the Free National Movement is the best vehicle to provide that for the Bahamian people. I have been honoured and privileged to serve the FNM in a number of capacities – as a candidate, a senator and a senior party officer. I am today affirming my interest in serving in one of the two leadership capacities.”
And in an interview last month, Mr Cash highlighted his “relentless work” in the past two years as evidence of his ability to be a strong deputy leader.
“I believe that by any objective measure it will be clear that for the last two plus years I have been relentless in my work to carry our party’s message and make the case for why we would be a considerably better government (than the current government),” Mr Cash said.
“Service at the level of deputy leader will still enable me to assist the leader and serve the party but at a more strategic level as we move closer to a general election.”
As for Mr Turnquest, he announced his bid to become deputy leader on Tuesday, in an email sent to supporters.
On Wednesday he told reporters that his status as a sitting MP gives him an advantage over his competitors because it will enable him to contribute at a higher level.
“I believe the position that I hold today puts me at a little bit of an advantage in being able to contribute at this level and towards defending this party’s vision and plans, so I put myself forward in that light,” he said.