Turnquest Rules Out Bid While Bethel Keen To Seek Election


Tribune Chief Reporter


FORMER National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest yesterday said he had “no intention” of throwing his hat into the ring for the 2017 general election as two other former Cabinet ministers from the Ingraham-led administration expressed interest in returning to frontline politics.

FNM Senator Carl Bethel, a former attorney general, told The Tribune he was definitely interested in a candidacy, but had not as yet formally applied for a nomination.

Meanwhile, former Education Minister Desmond Bannister said he was still discussing the matter with his children.

“I have no intention to run in the 2017 election,” said Mr Turnquest when contacted. The former Mount Moriah MP lost his seat to the Progressive Liberal Party’s candidate, Arnold Forbes in the last election.

Responding to questions of potential FNM candidates, he said: “I think the party must have a balanced mix of candidates with experience. Some new faces, some experienced, some young, some not so young, with various disciplines, whether banking, law, or accounting, or medicine – the general professions. You need to have a mix and it should be representative of our society.”

Mr Turnquest added: “We have a lot of bright young people, they need exposure, they need mentorship, some degree of training and political seasoning.” I think the FNM has done that in the past, I’ve been a beneficiary of that.”

The critical need to attract and expose young Bahamians to public service was also shared by Mr Bannister, who pointed to a growing cynicism towards politics.

Mr Bannister underscored the need to entice more youth leaders to public service, adding that it was time to say goodbye to career politicians.

“I think it’s absolutely critical that young Bahamians make commitment to public service. I see a cynicism among Bahamians (in) regards to politics, I think we need to get them to appreciate it as a noble area of personal service.

“Not everyone gets into it for self-aggrandizement. There are lots of people who want to give to public service. We have to encourage them to step forward, we ought to be saying goodbye to the days of career politicians, to people who can’t seem to get enough of being in public office.”

Party insiders have pointed to Mr Bannister as the likely candidate for Central and South Abaco after it was confirmed earlier this year that current area MP Edison Key planned to retire at the end of this term.

However, Mr Bannister said his children would ultimately make the decision on whether he would return to frontline politics, as they were the “most important factor” in his life.

Mr Bannister represented the Carmichael constituency from 2007 to 2012 but ran unsuccessfully in the North Andros race in the last election.

He underscored that future leaders must uphold honesty and transparency in governance as the country enters a new age of politics.

“Over the last three years, our country has seen a level of obscurity that some might say we have never seen before in history and its important for any government and people who seek to give public service to be transparent.”

“Young people on social media are questioning everything. It’s not the old thing where you mark an ‘x’ for the party your parents supported all your life. This generation is asking a lot more questions, but amazingly the government has been able to get away with not revealing information that ought to be in the public domain. This has impacted strength of our democracy.

“I hope that this government and any government will adopt a higher degree of transparency and honesty with Bahamians. In good or bad times it’s important for people to appreciate how government works,” Mr Bannister added.


proudloudandfnm 4 years, 8 months ago

Glad to see Tommy maturing. His day will come.... I like Bannister I think he has a lot to offer and he truly cares about education. I'd like to see him come back....


Cobalt 4 years, 8 months ago

Are you serious??? You're the FNM equivalent to that defective, PLP idiot, birdiestrachan!


Cobalt 4 years, 8 months ago

I swear..... these politicians just don't get the point. Are these men delusional or just plain detached from the Bahamian public? News Flash...... we the Bahamian people no longer want any old, antiquated, failed, politician (such as Dion, Carl, or Tommy) representing us anymore!! As a matter of fact, we don't want the FNM, period!!! For God sake.... somebody spread the word!!! The old FNM (including HAI and his FNM minions) are the main reason that PGC and his PLP thieves and incompetent cronies are in power now!!

I'm really vexed with Brandville McCartney and the DNA for not presenting their 38 candidates and conducting a public convention sooner!! With the next General Election less that two years away, he still seems to be air bagging!! Leaving the Bahamian electorate to choose between two failed, ineffective governments!


Cobalt 4 years, 8 months ago

You misunderstood. Im speaking for sensible Bahamias who possess the ability to think clearly, logically, intelligently and coherently.

I'm imagining that this doesn't include you.


Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 8 months ago

All of the old guard need to stay out of active politics and get on with their lives. They have played their political role in the Bahamas being where it is today and unfortunately it isn't a pretty picture. Besides, we need significantly less lawyers sitting in parliament and many more honest caring charismatic successful businessmen with well established track records when it comes to their ability to lead and inspire others. This new blood should be in their most productive years, ideally 35 to 55 years of age, with a keen desire to set and accomplish goals that will put our country on an even keel. The day of the smooth nonsense talking politician who is only interested in feathering his or her own nest through the misuse of political office has hopefully come and gone.


TalRussell 4 years, 8 months ago

Comrades I was never a fan of Tommy who was never intentionally intended by Papa Hubert to be a lasting fit as FNM party leader but as security minister it had more to do with anyone being promoted as security minister which may have done more harm to an otherwise good man than good to his credibility. Tommy is above being corruptible and that alone should hung out as a welcome mat, by any new 2017 administration.


GrassRoot 4 years, 8 months ago

why do they even talk about it, if they have no intention to run? save the ink and paper.


Cobalt 4 years, 8 months ago

I think that journalists from The Tribune and The Guardian often spur these politicians into making these statements. They (journalists) initiate these statements by asking these politicians whether or not they're going to compete in future politics. Tommy T was only answering their question.


GrassRoot 4 years, 8 months ago

yep as if there was no better or more important news.


Observer 4 years, 8 months ago

Will you please state for the record what you want for this country, without consideration for the names mentioned, and others, of course?


Publius 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm not a fan of any of these people active today but it always amuses me to hear Bahamians say we don't need anyone trained in law to be elected as lawmakers. To state that being a lawyer is the reason the legislature is ineffective is a non sequitur. We should strive to make logical assertions even as we air out our justifiable dissatisfaction with the level of service many representatives have given over the years.

And also, this age-ism argument is one of the more hypocritical and counterproductive I've heard. A bunch of newbies who know next to nothing about the system and how to govern, want everyone who has knowledge to disappear. Foolery I say. Youth is no guarantee of innovation just as older age is no guarantee of wisdom. We need both the older and the younger to work together for our country, with neither side trying to get rid of the other since both sides need each other to succeed.


asiseeit 4 years, 8 months ago

Once again, What have these set done that makes them seem to think they are the answer to the Bahamas problems. I truly believe these old guard politicians ARE THE PROBLEM. They have offered their service and they have failed. What about the same old, same old, do they think will change the failure this country has become under their supposed leadership? Thanks, but no thanks. stay where you are, and lets get some new blood that may have some morals, ethics. and honesty.


jusscool 4 years, 8 months ago

This man cant even fine his hat ,much less throw!


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