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Minnis Slams Replacement In Post As ‘Abuse Of Process’

Dr Hubert Minnis

Dr Hubert Minnis

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

THE appointment of Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner as leader of the official Opposition was labelled yesterday as the result of an “abuse of the democratic process” by the “blind, greedy and selfish ambition of a few,” according to Free National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis.

In a press statement released shortly after 3pm Sunday, as Mrs Butler-Turner was receiving her instruments of appointment in a ceremony at Government House, Dr Minnis slammed the move as a swipe to the “faithful, dedicated, hard-working and committed” members of his party.

Dr Minnis said despite the tactics used to oust him, he remains “steadfast” in his duty as party leader, contending that the occurrences in the wake of his removal as official Opposition leader in Parliament have not “moved” him.

“What has occurred over the last few days in the FNM is the result of individuals who have failed to respect the democratic process of their own party,” said Dr Minnis.

“They have put their self-centred ambitions for leadership, and personal feelings toward me, ahead of the will of the people and the best interest of the country.

“The Free National Movement is not distracted. Our party remains the best opportunity for real, systemic change in this country. To our supporters in these seven constituencies, many of whom have contacted the party over the last few days expressing a sense of deep betrayal and disappointment in these representatives, please be assured that your party has not abandoned you.

“Indeed, we are energised and committed more than ever to ensure that you and our beloved Bahamians, receive what you truly deserve: the highest quality representation, with impeccable integrity.

“To FNMs throughout the Bahamas, rest assured that your Free National Movement Party is ready, energised, and committed more than ever to fight, for and on your behalf.

“As Oscar Wilde once wrote, sometimes, ‘what seems to us as bitter trials, are often blessings in disguise.’”

On Wednesday, Mrs Butler-Turner led the successful ousting of Dr Minnis, after she and six of her colleagues - Central Grand Bahama MP Neko Grant, St Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman, North Eleuthera Theo Neilly, Central and South Abaco MP Edison Key, Montagu MP Richard Lightbourn, and Fort Charlotte MP Dr Andre Rollins - wrote Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, stating that they had lost faith in the leadership of Dr Minnis.

The MPs exercised their right under Article 82 of the Constitution.

They also said they voted to have Mrs Butler-Turner replace him as leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament.

In response to the move, Dr Minnis called on the group to do the honourable thing and resign from the party or face disciplinary action.

To date, none of the parliamentarians have tendered their resignations from the party.

When contacted by The Tribune on Friday for comment, FNM Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest insisted that the party’s constitution spoke clearly to the matter, adding that Dr Minnis would be absolved and the party “best ready to move forward.”

He said the FNM must now focus on completing its platform, the ratifications of its remaining candidates and its overall election machinery, as it awaits the outcome of the process.

Mr Turnquest maintained that there would be no split in the party over the ordeal, as the “disgruntled” parliamentarians didn’t speak for party supports.

“There is no split. We have a serious difference of opinion by seven members who have taken a unique but not unprecedented position. The overwhelming majority of the FNM, its associations and its various constituencies and councils fully support our leader and our party.

“Not to say that there may not be a few other individuals that agree with their actions. I’m sure there are, but the overwhelming majority supports the leadership and the party. That was clear in successive conventions and in council.”

Earlier this year, six of the MPs, excluding Mr Key, threatened to ask the governor general to strip Dr Minnis of his post as Official Opposition leader if he did not convene an earlier convention, which was originally scheduled for November.

Dr Minnis acceded to this demand and the party held a three-day convention in July. Leading up to the event, Mrs Butler-Turner campaigned for the leader post, only to drop out of the race hours before votes were cast.

Despite the bitter campaign, she was recently ratified as the FNM’s candidate for Long Island for the 2017 general election.

Comments

Economist 3 years, 10 months ago

Slams?????? You must be joking. Minnis could slam anything.

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Economist 3 years, 10 months ago

Will someone tell him that this has nothing to do with the 'party' and everything to do with the 'electorate'.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 10 months ago

Minnis is leader of the Free National Movement ....... he wants to have all of his cake and eat it too ........ now someone else has taken the cake knife away from him to cut a slice of cake and he is freaking mad!!!!!! ................. He should share the cake(FNM) by keeping the knife and giving away a slice of cake (Oh, I forgot ....... he already did that after the convention) ...... well take the knife and strike it to the heart of the imposter!!!!!!! ....... Be gone!!!!!!!!

I am awaiting Minnis' press conference to expel the "Rebels" from the FNM ...... that is the only shot Minnis has of any credibility with the voters

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Economist 3 years, 10 months ago

If he expels the rebels he will guarantee that the FNM will all but die.

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TigerB 3 years, 10 months ago

The shoes is on the other foot now, he had all the power, now we will see his true colors as he looks on.

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Economist 3 years, 10 months ago

When he had the power he was unable to pull the opposition together.

LBT and Bran are at least showing signs of a coalition of the opposition.

She has already shown that she is a better debater and now a better negotiator.

Resign Minnis and set the FNM free.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 10 months ago

Yep .......... the MPs gave him 4 years to exercise his power ....... and what did he do??????? ................ the FNM under Minnis cannot defeat the PLP in 2017 (that is for sure) ............ Time to roll the dice with a new coalition ........ Who will advise the obstinate Minnis & Collie crew to see that they must decrease while the new "Rebels" must increase????? .......... BOL

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 10 months ago

This stupid man Minnis should have long ago stuck that long pointed finger of his where it truly belongs: Up the arse of either Fweddy Boy or Crooked Christie!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 10 months ago

Most Bahamians fail to understand that a UK styled Westminster parliamentary system of government has been ill-suited for an independent Bahamas since July 10, 1973. Pindling quickly realized that it was all too easy for the leader of a political party to gain absolute control over the party by fully stacking the party's leadership apparatus with small minded loyal supporters and cronies who would always put their party leader above the well being of the Bahamas and its people. Our political parties do not have a true democratic purging mechanism for the party leader who invariably successfully hijacks the entire leadership apparatus of the party in order to cement his/her position as party leader with unquestionable and unlimited authority to remain in that de facto dictator role.

Hubbigity, Crooked Christie and the Dimwitted Doc are all from Pindling's school of thinking when it comes to gaining and retaining absolute control over the leadership apparatus of their political party, thereby capitalizing on one of the key weaknesses within our ill-suited system of government. Bahamians need to wake up to the fact that the political parties will always serve the hijacker's interests in obtaining unchecked power, with no built-in democratic mechanism for booting the hijacker when necessary for the good of the party and the Bahamian people.

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DDK 3 years, 10 months ago

Do you all eat the same cereal for breakfast?

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TalRussell 3 years, 10 months ago

Comrades! STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING! DNA Leader Bran is the guest now live-on the Guardian's The Revolution Talk Show. Every red shirt, needs tune-in live to hear for yourselves exactly what the green party's leader and your Loretta has planned for your red party. Will be good be reminded as Minnis was, directly from mouth man himself, all about his runaway ego.

www.guardiantalkradio.com

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by TalRussell

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