Loretta Butler-Turner, leader of Opposition in the House of Assembly. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff
By SANCHESKA DORSETT
Tribune Staff Reporter
LONG ISLAND MP Loretta Butler-Turner said yesterday that while she understands “elections are won at the polls and cannot be predicted” she believes Long Islanders “have faith” in her “and she “believes in them”.
In an interview with The Tribune at her home, Mrs Butler-Turner said she will not engage in a “back and forth speculation” over who will win the Long Island seat but as it stands she said she has a “great relationship with her constituents.”
Her comments came one day after the Free National Movement’s council ratified Adrian Gibson, an attorney and Tribune columnist, for the Long Island seat.
FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis said he is “more than confident” that the political newcomer will unseat Mrs Butler-Turner.
Last week, Dr Minnis confirmed that the FNM had started to search for a new Long Island candidate to represent the party in the 2017 general election.
The seat is currently held by Mrs Butler-Turner, who is one of seven FNM MPs who ousted the Killarney MP as leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Assembly earlier this month.
Mrs Butler-Turner, who was already ratified to run on the party’s ticket in 2017, was also chosen to replace Dr Minnis in the lower chamber.
“We had a tremendous party in Long Island (recently) and we also had the opportunity to visit our people and I can tell you, how elections turn out is only proven on the day of elections,” Mrs Butler-Turner said.
“If I were to use an indication of the response I received from my people I would tell you that at this point they believe in me as I believe in them. Elections are won on Election Day; I will not get into a back and forth on speculation. I deal in facts. The fact is as it stands today, I have a wonderful relationship with my constituency, should that change they will determine as to what my fate will be.”
In an interview with The Tribune following his ratification, Mr Gibson said he did not want to seem “disrespectful” but he described Mrs Butler-Turner’s performance in Long Island as “lacklustre”.
“I know the constituents are not happy with her representation and we are putting that behind us and moving forward,” he said.
“I am 100 per cent confident I can beat her in Long Island. I am the man for the job.”
Last week, in an open letter to Dr Minnis, the Long Island Constituency Association accused him of dishonesty and untrustworthiness over the revoking of Mrs Butler-Turner’s candidacy for the next general election.
In a letter signed by the entire executive arm of the association, Dr Minnis is accused of falsely representing the views of the association in allegedly telling the party’s General Council that it had voted to withdraw the nomination from Mrs Butler-Turner, the island’s MP.
The association also claimed that Dr Minnis had “done nothing but sow seeds of division, discord and distrust” since becoming party leader and that he is “desperate to the point of telling larger and bolder untruths”.