Yes, I think she would make a good leader
No, I do not think she would make a good leader
257 total votes.
By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
FNM LEADER Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday he is “more than confident” he will be re-elected at the party’s November convention and is “not concerned” about who will challenge him.
In fact, Dr Minnis said his focus is not on campaigning for a post he knows he will retain, but rather on keeping the government’s “feet to the fire”.
His comments came a day after FNM Deputy Leader Loretta Butler-Turner formally announced her intent to run against him at the party’s convention on November 21.
Dr Minnis told The Tribune that the two have not spoken since she made her announcement.
“The FNM was built on a foundation of democracy and once a convention is called anyone can run for any position,” Dr Minnis said.
“We have an open and thriving democracy in the FNM that we one day hope to see throughout the Bahamas.
“In fact, if the current government had an open and thriving democracy this country would not be facing half of the problems we are facing today. I support democracy, the FNM supports democracy. I am not concerned about campaigning for leader, I am the leader and I have no doubt I will remain leader. I will continue on and take us in the next general election where we will defeat the PLP.
“As for the convention coming up, I will come out as I went in.”
Despite Dr Minnis’ statements, a party insider said yesterday he is “very concerned and extremely worried” because “everyone knows Mrs Butler-Turner has a very good chance of winning” the leadership race.
In a statement announcing her leadership bid, the Long Island MP said while she was “grateful” for Dr Minnis’ services, the government needs to be corralled by a “firm leader of the opposition who will keep both eyes on them inside and outside Parliament.”
When asked if he felt statements like these were a personal dig at him, Dr Minnis did not respond directly.
“I’m more focused on winning the government, not on individuals,” he said. “This is the worst government ever and therefore I, the FNM and Bahamians at large who are fed up by this government should want to see a change.”
“My focus is more on young people and developing them and preparing them for leadership roles tomorrow,” he added. “I want to build an opportunity-based society so each and every Bahamian would have an opportunity to own a piece of the pie.
“I think we must take it to another phase where rather than just focusing on jobs we can focus on ownership. Every Bahamian wants to have available to them the Bahamian dream which is owning a home, being able to pay for that home, owning a car.”
Dr Minnis said he also advocates a society that enforces the country’s laws. He added that the public should demand to know which elected representatives are behind on real property taxes and their public disclosures.
“If not then what message are they saying to the public,” he asked.
Last month, FNM insiders told The Tribune tension was brewing between Dr Minnis and his deputy over the likelihood that she would challenge him when the party holds its next convention.
Last week, FNM executives met in a last minute meeting and decided to hold the party’s convention on November 21, instead of early 2015 as originally proposed. Mrs Butler-Turner was in her constituency in Long Island at the time.
When she was advised of the purpose of the meeting, she sent Dr Minnis a letter which warned him that he was playing “a very dangerous game.” She later told The Tribune that had Dr Minnis “bothered to advise” her of the meeting, she would have informed him that it was not a good idea to hold a convention “on such short notice.”
The Long Island MP on Monday said her decision to go head-to-head with Dr Minnis came in response to “the call of many FNMs and the call of Bahamians far and wide, young and old, and from throughout our country,” and after consultations with the FNM’s Constituency Association.