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Chipman Hopes To Avoid Fnm ‘Kangaroo Court’

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Hubert Chipman

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunmedia.net

POINTING to the “vague” language in the party’s constitution, St Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman yesterday said he hoped the disciplinary proceedings launched by the Free National Movement against him and his parliamentary colleagues would not become a “kangaroo court”.

Mr Chipman insisted that he and the “rebel” FNM MPs were not in breach of the party’s constitution when they moved to oust Dr Hubert Minnis as leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Assembly last Wednesday.

Meanwhile, fellow “rebel” MP Dr Andre Rollins insisted that last week’s shake-up was the catalyst for a revitalised electorate.

The Tribune spoke to both men on the sidelines of Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner’s historic appointment as the first woman to lead the Official Opposition.

Dr Rollins said: “There is absolutely no doubt about it that people are now far more interested in the political future of this country than they were before Wednesday of last week. People had grown so despondent towards politics in this country because, quite frankly, it was stale.

“There was no real message coming from the opposition, no policies being clearly articulated that all of the members of the opposition could speak to. So it appeared as if we really didn’t know what we were doing.”

The petition to remove Dr Minnis was signed by Mrs Butler-Turner, Central Grand Bahama MP Neko Grant, St Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman, North Eleuthera MP Theo Neilly, Central and South Abaco MP Edison Key, Montagu MP Richard Lightbourn and Fort Charlotte MP Dr Andre Rollins. All of the signatories have declared that they will not quit the party, and as such, have been accused of bringing the party into “disrepute, division, rancour and dishonour.”

It’s a case that many expect will languish on at the party’s tribunal, and ultimately in the courts.

“I’d hate to see it go all the way to court,” Mr Chipman said, “because I think really the matter is a very simple matter. According to the FNM constitution, Article 53, it’s kind of vague.

“When you’re talking about disrepute, how did we bring the party into disrepute? We can go back and name quite a number a lot of things that has been, as far as the leader is concerned, (bringing) disrepute,” he said.

Mr Chipman added: “I would think about disrepute as a criminal matter, bankruptcy, or something like that. I don’t have no charges against me. As far as I’m aware there is no precedent for that. I think if anyone reads and interprets article 53 of the constitution of the FNM there is leeway.

“I would hate to see it be a kangaroo court, but if it is we don’t control that.”

The parliamentarians have seven days from receipt of a letter from the party outlining the charges against them to give a written response to the Executive Committee of the FNM, attempting to exculpate themselves.

Both Mr Key and Dr Rollins have publicly called for Dr Minnis to step down from the top post as the best possible solution for the party, and the country.

When asked if he adopted that position, Mr Chipman said: “I think we have gone through that scenario on a number of occasions. I think there have been ultimatums in the recent past, even at the convention, we were granted the convention.

“There have been a number of things that have transpired as far as, look here what are we doing, where are we going, how are we going to get there, but like my grandmother always said, ‘all can’t be wrong and you’re right.’”

For his part, Dr Rollins said: “I don’t believe six months out from an election you can honestly say that you are performing properly or effectively as the government in waiting, if your standard bearers can’t tell you what they are going to be bringing to the country if elected.

“That’s problematic,” he said.

Responding to questions about his tenuous past with Mrs Butler-Turner, who infamously slapped him in the House of Assembly in 2013, Dr Rollins said: “I’m just here today as a spectator to history, I’m proud to have played some small role in allowing there to be a true expression of the belief that men and women are capable of being leaders in our country.

“We got a lot of (voter) apathy, and forget about my personal relationship with Loretta Butler-Turner. It has nothing to do, as far as I’m concerned now, with whether or not I consider Loretta Butler-Turner one of my close friends, we’re not close friends but we’re coming together to do what we believe is in the country’s best interest and that is what all of us as politicians have to do.”

Comments

Economist 3 years, 7 months ago

I don't think that the FNM executive want to let go. They have messed up badly but are so set in their old feeble ways.

Sad for what was once a vibrant party.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 7 months ago

The Rebel Seven has Minnis and the FNM Council in a Catch22 ......... they call the shots whether Bahamians want to accept it or not ......... MPs are powerful, elected national figures, not to be taken as caricatures in some dog&pony show

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Honestman 3 years, 7 months ago

As I understand it, the rebel seven have broken no laws and have acted within the rules of the FNM constitution. On what basis can they be disciplined or expelled?

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 7 months ago

On the basis of protocol ............ as laid out in the FNM constitution

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 7 months ago

But you can't ignore the fact that no party which has been hijacked by a de facto tyrannical dictator, whether it be Crooked Christie in the case of the PLP or Dimwit Corrupt Minnis in the case of the FNM, should have any standing in the current or future government of The Bahamas.

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

Comrades would it be too much to ask the feeling all betrayed Red Party's 410 convention delegates to communicate that disciplinary proceedings launched by the Red Party's Supreme Council, against the Seven MP militants actions, that it would become as much of a “kangaroo court” as they have disrespectfully displayed towards the WILL of the 410 convention delegates that were democratically assembled to conduct the affairs of the Red Party. You Seven have committed grand treason against the 410 convention delegates and must be expelled permanently from the once grand Red Party.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 7 months ago

Tal ....... what does "democracy" mean in The Bahamas anymore???????

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Greentea 3 years, 7 months ago

410 delegates can't win a constituency much less a national election. Their vision was obviously only as far as the walls of the room they were in, rather than where it should have been, on the national picture.

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Honestman 3 years, 7 months ago

Tal, if you want to talk of "grand treason" then you need look no further than your PLP paymasters. What the PLP has done to the country these last five years is absolutely treasonous.

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Emac 3 years, 7 months ago

People still read Tal's comments???

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Papy_Grande 3 years, 7 months ago

Honestman and Greentea,

obviously your memories are very short. LBT couldn't win at convention and couldn't get a single one of these six to join her on stage. The word democracy coming from her mouth is at best laughable. The fact that they want to stand in the company of Political legends, the dissident eight, and have the gall to compare themselves is a sign of the enormity of their ego. Yet they don't have the temerity to do what the eight did leave!

Jokers and Pretenders all of them!

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birdiestrachan 3 years, 7 months ago

Honesunan Make a list of what the PLP has done to the Country..It is not a good idea to just wright stuff with no facts. What is going on with the FNM Party/ pray tell what is it all about??:. When the election is so close.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 7 months ago

The PLP has added NOTHING to the country this term

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Rhetoric 3 years, 7 months ago

The seven need to be expelled post haste it is clear that they have no plan and no means to be elected outside of the Machinery of the FNM

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Economist 3 years, 7 months ago

The FNM is dumb enough to kick them out. They will form a new party, which, in a coalition with the DNA will run.

I, as a voter who is sick and tired of the PLP and can see that Minnis and his old fashioned 1970"s minded Counsel and executive are useless, will not vote PLP or FNM but will take a chance on a new group.

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TalRussell 3 years, 7 months ago

My Dear Comrade Emac, I just want say you're an amazing blogger. If only I could write so beautifully as you - leaving your Comrade Tal to wonder why it has be so hard me write as grammar well. But maybe it's because I read others blogs and think like a child - not quick say, oh yes I agree but asking why or how is that so? You see Emac, I truly believe there there is a way each us to present a different prospective and without making it personal.

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