By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
FREE National Movement Chairman Michael Pintard yesterday said more than 60 professionals have submitted applications to the party in a bid to run on the FNM’s ticket in the 2017 general election.
He said while a number of these persons are already working the field as prospective candidates in various capacities, the party continues to welcome interested Bahamians who believe they will be effective in politics.
Party leader Dr Hubert Minnis is expected to reveal the names of the hopefuls who have passed through the investigative process and candidates committee early next year, Mr Pintard said.
“A number of them are already working in the field as prospective candidates and registering persons for the general election.”
“It is the intention of the leadership to intensify the vetting process for other persons who have presented applications to run. That number is well over 60 from various professions dominated by people of the business sector.”
He added: “In terms of age these are persons under age 50, but the party continues to welcome persons who have interest in running on the party’s ticket.”
The party had planned to ratify the bulk of its 2017 general election candidates in August; however, the highly anticipated appointments were repeatedly postponed due to controversy over conflict of interest claims from the Progressive Liberal Party, reported leadership issues, and most recently the catastrophic Hurricane Joaquin.
Despite reports that several sitting FNM MPs will not be renominated, a source suggested that current parliamentarians would be allowed to remain as standard bearers.
According to the source, the party’s Candidates Committee has shortlisted 10 candidates for approval by the FNM’s Central Council.
Despite declaring his retirement earlier this year, Central and South Abaco MP Edison Key suggested in September that he would seek another term.
The turnaround came less than six months after he confirmed to The Tribune that he was looking forward to the end of his 40-year long career as a parliamentarian.