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Symonette Open To Fnm/Dna Link

Former Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette

Former Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette

By RICARDO WELLS

and RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporters

FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette yesterday said he is open to brokering discussions with the FNM and DNA, suggesting that a coalition of some sort between the two groups provides voters the “best possible choice” in the next general election.

Mr Symonette said while the Free National Movement is strong enough to beat the Progressive Liberal Party without a deal with the third party, a strong opposition front could easily defeat an already waning, Christie-led regime.

When contacted for his view, FNM Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest said he agrees that those who oppose the government must join forces to defeat the PLP in the next general election. However, he stressed that the FNM was the “only real alternative” to the PLP.

He added that his party’s internal data shows it is in good shape to win the next general election regardless of whether it joins forces with the DNA and prominent independents.

Their comments came a day after independent Ft Charlotte MP Dr Andre Rollins told The Tribune that opposition forces and independent representatives should form a coalition to take on the PLP ahead of the next general election instead of splintering into different groups.

Last week, independent Marco City MP Greg Moss announced his plans to form and lead a new party ahead of the next election. Mr Moss and Dr Rollins both quit the PLP in June, citing differences with its leadership.

“The FNM is more than strong enough to go it alone, but the mending of the political fences would assure a win in the upcoming election because that is what the country wants,” Mr Symonette said when contacted for comment.

He added that the PLP’s failed policies have forced many of its supporters to now consider alternatives ahead of the 2017 election, saying that a united approach by the DNA and the FNM would make the choice clear.

“Both sides should see the point that this could offer. I think they do. A merging of the two sides would give voters the best possible choice, because if you take the positives of both groups you can easily form a strong platform to turn this country around.

“I would hope that behind the scenes, both sides are working on something, some common ground because that would be in the best interest of the Bahamian people.”

When asked if he would help facilitate such a conversation, Mr Symonette said: “If I was to receive a call asking me to help with that process, I would be open to assisting with that project.”

He added that his push for such a union had nothing to do with the present leadership of the FNM, but more to do with what such a deal could offer.

“I am comfortable with the present leadership of the (FNM). The Free National Movement has a capable leader in Hubert Minnis and an efficient deputy in Mr Turnquest – they were duly elected and are performing in their capacities. My push has more to do with assuring a win in 2017.”

Meanwhile, Mr Turnquest said he agrees with Dr Rollins’ position that it is important for those who want to unseat the PLP to join forces.

“We believe the FNM provides the only viable alternative to get the current government out and would certainly encourage the other parties to unite with us,” Mr Turnquest said. “We are all interested in the same goal, which is to rescue the country. And all people of goodwill certainly have room for discussions to this end. Conversations have been going on with any number of people with how they can help us in this endeavour. At the end of the day, we ask all parties to recognise that sometimes you have to sacrifice self for the good of the country. I repeat – we are the only real alternative.”

He added: “Absolutely the FNM could still win (regardless of whether we unite or not). Our data suggests that we are well on our way to securing victory with or without the support of the third parties. So the FNM is a very strong organisation with a history and track record. Mr McCartney, my leader, Mr Moss – we all want the same thing: a sound government free from corruption that is working in the best interest of a modern Bahamas. We are also nationalists and despite the ambitions we may have, we believe the country comes before personal desires and ambitions. We believe any thing is possible at this stage.”

If the DNA were to merge with the FNM, Mr Symonette said he doesn’t see DNA Leader Branville McCartney coming in as the new FNM leader or deputy leader, but said some “concessions” would have to be made.

The former St Anne’s MP added: “You have to understand, the PLP has lost a lot of sway with their present actions. The FNM has done a lot to capitalise on that, but they have to do all they can to guarantee a win in 2017.”

Mr McCartney has maintained that there is no chance that he would return to the FNM – a party from which he resigned amidst mounting disagreements in 2011.

Comments

MonkeeDoo 5 years, 4 months ago

If Bran continues to harbour this asinine position then he should just wind up the DNA and let its members support whomever they want. The DNA will not win any seats in the next election and will only serve to spoil the election. Spoil meaning a minority can win again. He must really like the PLP ! Jackass !

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Cobalt 5 years, 4 months ago

Lol lol lol. Now that's funny.

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Publius 5 years, 4 months ago

Speaking of what he is "comfortable" with, I wonder if Mr. Symonette is comfortable with the country knowing just how deep a connection with the DNA he has had. I guess not, because then Bahamians would understand even more how much these politicians have been playing and continue to play with our lives.

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Emac 5 years, 4 months ago

"Mr. McCartney has maintained that there is no chance that he would return to the FNM " It is statements like this that makes these politicians look bad when they turn back on their word. If Branville does decide to join the FNM because of the tempting pot, he would lose all credibility. As a matter of fact, Andre Rollins, Renard Wells, the defunct Cassius Stuart all vowed that they would never be a part of any of the two major political parties, yet they joined these parties simply because of power hunger. The Bahamas needs more representatives who genuinely care for the people and country-All of the politicians that run in this country seem to be in it for power or money. We are in deep trouble.

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YesiJed 5 years, 4 months ago

All of the Opposition parties need to lose their egos and join forces to defeat the PLP - that is the most sensible solution !

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proudloudandfnm 5 years, 4 months ago

WHAT DNA?!?!?!? Bran? Chris? Andrew? Ben? Podesta?

WHAT DNA?!?!?

There is no DNA, there are only them four people desperately wanting to be a party. Let's all get real. Let's at least wait until Bran either reveals his candidates or close the whole shebang down...

But right now? There is no DNA.... There is only Bran and his fans....

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MonkeeDoo 5 years, 4 months ago

proudloudetc: You are correct - I don't know why anyone pays attention to them. And now their connection to the numbers boys has just jumped shit and gone to the PLP !

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 4 months ago

Bran will not join the FNM unless he is Chief. And this will be troubling for Turnquest and Dr: Minnis. In fact Symonette may also be planning a come back. At the same time none of them have an vision. They voted against VAT . But they will never repeal VAT, They will not close down web shops. and they do not have the answer for crime.

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Emac 5 years, 4 months ago

Very true birdie. But this still does not change the fact that the PLP needs to placed immediately, if not sooner.

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YesiJed 5 years, 4 months ago

So birdie, are you suggesting that we stick with the PLP and continue on this downward spiral ???

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banker 5 years, 4 months ago

I doubt it -- this is politics which is a blood sport -- the plan is probably to get Branflakes to join forces then marginalise him by promising him an ambassadorship or a cabinet post.

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 4 months ago

If all right-thinking Bahamians who are presently being shafted by the PLP do not line up behind ONE common coalition in the next general election .............. then we will find ourselves with a Mugabe-style government for FIVE more years ................. it is as simple as that

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John 5 years, 4 months ago

Lets assume that the (PLP) government takes possession of Bah Mar and construction resumes next month. This would create immediate jobs and put Bah Mar in position to be opened late winter-early spring next year (2016). Assuming all goes right some 2,500 jobs will be secured and with the carnival many of these rooms will be occupied in early 2017. The web shops will have been formally regulated and the cost of electricity will have been reduced by 40%. The Sheraton project (construction) should be in full swing and nearing completion. For all intents and purposes the Bahamian economy will appear to be in a mini-boom. Employment will be down and since crime trails unemployment, that too, will be down. It will be most difficult for a split of fractured opposition to win against the PLP. It may be even more difficult to convince Bran McCartney to disband his party, in which he has made considerable investment, tangible and otherwise, and re-join the FNM. Of course the world economy may have also slipped into another recession by then. Macy's has announced that they are closing 500 (yes five hundred) US stores next year and will be testing a discount outlet format and while many expect gas prices to drop to $2.00 by Christmas in the US consumer spending has been flat. With the hundreds of thousands of persons being displaced in the Middle East due to (Syria, Iraq, Iran) and seeking refuge in Europe this will also have an impact on the world economy and the price of oil. Then there is Donald Trump(et) who is causing panic with his bid for the US presidency. Some have even likened this man to Adolf Hitler.

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banker 5 years, 4 months ago

What you are forgetting is that there are huge structural impediments to an amelioration of the Bahamian economy. Baha Mar will not address those.

There is also the problem of Baha Mar attracting clientele. If you read the travel forums, Baha Mar has reputational damage. On the biggest wedding site in the US, a woman posted that Baha Mar not opening ruined her wedding. On top of that, Baha Mar hired digital marketing experts to overcome online bias, and these experts at resuscitating Baha Mar are leaving and not being paid. This is the problem that the government doesn't even know exists -- the expertise to get Baha Mar functional in the marketplace. The government believes that if you build it, they will come. They have no idea of the Herculean effort that Sol did to make the people come to Atlantis, and this one is twice the work because of the bad world-wide reputation.

We are in an economic paradigm shift and traditional models do not world. However, according to the Economist, the hottest tourist plays in terms of Foreign Direct Investment, is the Maldives, Mauritius, Bali, Thailand and Vietnam. We don't even make it on the top ten Caribbean destinations any longer.

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Wideawake 5 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Symonette has made a considerable contribution to politics in this country, and could, if permitted, make an even greater contribution to Bahamian politics in the future. His is a voice of experience, honesty and reason, and he is a good choice to craft a successful alliance from the various opposition factions.

As a major financial contributor to the FNM, he wields considerable power in any discussions concerning political alliances. He is undoubtedly a staunch patriot, and his desire to serve The Bahamas as an important part of the next FNM government would be welcomed by many.

Mr Symonette has considerable business and political experience and in many ways would have been a better and more effective choice as Leader of the FNM than Mr. Minnis.

I hope that the power-mongers in the FNM allow him to play the important and substantial part he deserves to play in the future evolution of this great party.

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Publius 5 years, 4 months ago

This sounds like a "sponsored by" post. Just saying.

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banker 5 years, 4 months ago

It's time that we gave the country to the businessmen to run. Either Minnis or Symonette, doesn't matter. At least they have a clue. Business also understands that organic well-being for the population is good for business.

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Wideawake 5 years, 4 months ago

Absolutely agree, Banker. We have too many Lawyers and Doctors trying to run the country. We need a Lee Kuan Yew (Former Prime Minister of Singapore) type of personality to take charge of this country. Someone successful in business, with a zero tolerance for corruption!!

How do we tolerate the obvious crap going on?? Bank of Bahamas with all of these loans to political cronies would cause the Government to fall anywhere else in the World, except of course, Africa!! Where the heck is our OPPOSITION??????

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 4 months ago

Symonett honesty? ask those people whose property he quieted ask them about that. They are poor people.. It was like taking milk from a baby. As Far as the FNM goes. what have they done that was so great. for the Bahamian poor people?. Under their leader ship the rich got richer and the poor people got nothing. 2011 was the year most murders occurred . The FNM stopped the Youth program that was operated along with Yeast . Now suddenly they have all of the answers. Then to add insult to injury he said it was small things.

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banker 5 years, 4 months ago

Ask Frankie the Snake Wilson about quieting titles. Immense of amount of Bahamian hurt -- ordinary Bahamians.

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Publius 5 years, 4 months ago

Both of them are guilty of this quite honestly.

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Wideawake 5 years, 4 months ago

The "quieting titles and land grab trick" can be reprehensible, but probably needs to be looked at on a case by case basis, because in some instances "owners" of land with contested titles had no other way of getting anything at all from "their" land. In some instances, someone else quieting the title, may have been the only way that many "landowners" could ever have realised cash from their property. In other cases, no doubt, quieting of title can be out and out thievery!!

I have no particular knowledge of Mr.Symonette's involvement in this, but know that the quieting of title issue is a cultural tradition handed down from the UBP. Perhaps it is time he offered to sell to Bahamians, at a very cheap price, some of the land he has amassed in this manner, or inherited!!

Apart from the quieting of title issue, and the criticism that Hot Mix is just too damn successful, are there any other challenges to Mr. Symonette' integrity??

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pablojay 5 years, 4 months ago

Birdie, Birdie,Birdie,tell me please how much Brent sold Saunders Beach to the government, so that we Bahamians, especially black ones can have a beach to go to forever and tell me how much you think Bradley Roberts would have sold it for if he had been in Brent's position. Awaiting your answer Birdie!

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MonkeeDoo 5 years, 4 months ago

17 hours and 57 minutes and birdie ain't say boo-cat. Bush crack and birdie gone !

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