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Symonette: Fmm Should Not Consider Non-Voting Convention

Former Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette

Former Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

IF FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis is comfortable in his position at the helm of the party, then the party’s next convention should have executive posts up for a challenge, former Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette said yesterday.

He told The Tribune that he did not understand why the party would consider doing otherwise as political organisations thrive best under a democratic process.

This comes the day after FNM Chairman Michael Pintard revealed to this newspaper that there was a possibility the party’s next convention could be a non-voting event.

The FNM’s Central Council has not yet made a decision on this and has not set a date for the proposed event.

“I would hope the leadership would consider what is in the best interest of the party and go for a voting convention,” Mr Symonette said when contacted for comment.

“If the leader is comfortable in his position I think it would be even more reason to have voting at the convention.

“I believe there should be voting as it is what happens in every fully-fledged political organisation. I don’t see why the party should even consider otherwise.

“It is important to say though that in conventions not only is the leadership post open but I think there are 50 positions open for voting.”

Asked if he thought the leadership post would be challenged at a new convention, Mr Symonette said he did not know.

“You are running a number of articles that (suggest) people might be unhappy. It is up to those people to come forward. I am not aware of anyone who has thrown their hat into the ring to say they will contest it. But again I say it would be in the best interest of the party to have a voting convention.”

On Wednesday, Mr Pintard said should the FNM Central Council choose a non-voting convention the event would only be held to share the party’s vision, outline elements of its plan of action, share different dimensions of its platform and/or modify the constitution of the party among other things.

This comes amid persistent calls from some in the party for a convention to settle ongoing disputes about Dr Minnis’ leadership.

This week, FNM MP for St Anne’s Hubert Chipman and Mr Symonette both said the party should hold a convention before the next election.

Recently, FNM members – who have asked to remain anonymous – have drawn attention to internal party politics where they have insisted that Dr Minnis has engaged in alleged underhanded dealings to ensure he remains at the helm of the organisation.

There is also a groundswell of support for Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner to lead the party, despite her resounding loss in her bid to unseat Dr Minnis at the party’s one-day convention in 2014.

Comments

Honestman 4 years, 2 months ago

Dr. Minnis is losing the PR battle in his attempt to convince the electorate that he is the man to lead the FNM and the country. Even the Tribune in yesterday's editorial is briefing against him. This is a BAD SITUATION for the party. If the FNM is to have ANY chance of victory next May it simply MUST deal with the "Minnis Problem". A full voting convention is the only way for Minnis to either deal with his detractors OR for the party to replace him with someone in whom it has more confidence. If Minnis is a true Bahamian, someone who wants to see this country removed from the clutches of the "Evil Empire", then he has to allow the democratic process to run its course within his party. Why would anyone want to lead his party into the next election in the knowledge that he does not have the full support of his membership? Only someone who has a lust for power would want that (and we already have one such "leader" in place)

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Economist 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree with Mr. Symonette. Dr. Minnis and Mr. Pintard are acting are acting like scared little boys rather than men who can lead.

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Abaconian 4 years, 2 months ago

The thing is they already had a convention not too long ago and Minnis was decided as the leader. There comes a point when the party needs to stop all of this bickering and get behind the party leader, whoever it is. If we don't have a united party we will lose the election. They need to sort this out. A house divided cannot stand.

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DillyTree 4 years, 2 months ago

Abaconian, would you still agree with your words if it were proven that Minnis stacked the deck in his bid to win the convention? Would you still say Minnis was decided as the leader?

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MonkeeDoo 4 years, 2 months ago

Abaconian: Not too long ago a party leader election would have been a formality and no one paid much attention to it. Now that we have had the pants on for a while we are experiencing a tight waist and a short crotch and something has to give. Dr. Minnis was the presumed leader after October 2012 and I am sure no one at that time had any idea that there was life after death so to speak. Now that it is realized that there could be life after death it is also realized that Dr. Minnis is not the Messiah and needs to stand down. What you going to do when the car you bought can't get you to work anymore. You going to quit your job and stay home or get another car ? Beware Abaco beware, Bay Street coming down.

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Stapedius 4 years, 2 months ago

Hahaha that's jokes right there..Lol

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DEDDIE 4 years, 2 months ago

presume leader in 2012 but elected by the majority of delegates in 2014

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DEDDIE 4 years, 2 months ago

It is too late in the game to be choosing a new leader. Unite behind Dr. Minnis and stop the bickering. Loretta Butler Turner had her opportunity and lost.Get over it. I am part of the electorate with no loyalty to any party and I could see the stupidity of the "sour loser child like behavior that says, lets ran again".

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DillyTree 4 years, 2 months ago

Debbie, would you still say the same if it were shown that Minnis stacked the deck in his favour for the convention? A recent letter writer and current FNM committee member stated that out island delegates were told they would have to pay their own way to Nassau -- except the ones for whom Minnis paid their expenses. If there's any truth to this (and I've heard others state similar allegations), then I would be asking myself if in fact Minnis did win the convention. One way to confirm this for once and for all is to have another convention -- and make damn sure ALL the delegates are present, not just the chosen ones.

If Minnis is so certain as the undisputed leader, then he should be happy to have a convention to show off his support instead of behaving like a spoiled child who doesn't want to play by the rules. What is he so afraid of?

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Economist 4 years, 2 months ago

The fact is that Dr. Minnis has failed, so far, to show that he is a credible alternative to Perry Christie.

If he is the leader of the FNM I, and many others I know, will not be voting FNM.

If the FNM wants to win the election they need to pick a leader, a real leader, and, no, not Hubert Ingraham, I wont vote for him either.

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Abaconian 4 years, 2 months ago

So you will vote PLP instead? Or you won't vote at all?

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Economist 4 years, 2 months ago

Probably for an Independent or DNA.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 2 months ago

The FNM will be without the financial backers it needs to win the next general election if Minnis remains leader of the party. For every dollar of campaign funding the FNM under Minnis is able to raise, the PLP under Christie is able to raise more than 20 times as much! But most of the voting public able and usually willing to vote are now so repulsed by both Minnis and Christie alike that they will end up voting for an independent or DNA candidate, or not bothering to vote at all.

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TalRussell 4 years, 2 months ago

Comrade Honestman I got's this say. Was it just a bad antenna reception or are you that big of a sucker for red blindsiding originating out Shirley Street?
Are you really buying into Tribune Editorial's false premise about how we (the newspaper) have tried to stay out of the FNM's leadership quarrel?
Okay Editor, you fooled Honestman's, but what about the rest of your loyal Tribune readers left to laugh their asses off?

Adele - Hello It's Me Loretta

.....////https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQHsX...">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQHsX...

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Stapedius 4 years, 2 months ago

Brent really is a piece of work. I have a respect for former PM Ingraham because he at least stood for something. I may highly disagree with some of his positions but he had his way. Brent on the other hand is a leech. He has forever ridden on coat tails. First his father and then Ingraham. He should be the last to talk.

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CatIslandBoy 4 years, 2 months ago

I am so disgusted by the seeming lack of respect for Dr. Minnis as leader of the FNM party. When the PLP soundly defeated the FNM at the last election, Dr. Minnis was left to pick up the scraps and hold a sinking ship together. In my humble opinion, he has done a resounding job, when I consider what he had to work with. While I would like to see Mrs. Butler-Turner as Prime Minister one day, I am throwing my support behind the current leader, who was chosen, and then duly elected at the last convention. The leadership question has been settled, and the decision should be respected by all who wish to see meaningful change in our beloved country.

For those who are suggesting that they cannot vote for Dr. Minnis, I am suggesting that unless you reside in his constituency, you are correct. You cannot vote for the leader, who may, or may not, become the Prime Minister after the next election. We don't vote for the Prime Minister, only our representative. So, are you telling me that you really believe that Christie is a better leader or Prime Minister than Dr. Minnis could become?

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B_I_D___ 4 years, 2 months ago

The PLP did not SOUNDLY win...they won with a minority vote, the fact that the vote was split between the FNM and DNA was the big problem, but the MAJORITY of the population did NOT vote for the PLP...

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CatIslandBoy 4 years, 2 months ago

Landslide = Soundly. You can bicker over the number of votes, and the role played by DNA; slicing and dicing it any way you wish. At the end of the day, The PLP ended up with the overwhelming majority of seats. The FNM only secured 8 seats.

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sheeprunner12 4 years, 2 months ago

Brent Symonette for Prime Minister ............. time to try the 10% because the 90% already run us in the ground

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EasternGate 4 years, 2 months ago

I am beginning to wonder if Minnis is working for Perry. The longer he stays, the better Perry looks

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DEDDIE 4 years, 2 months ago

Dr. Minnis is a non-lawyer, a self made man who doesn't fit the traditional mold of PM. I have not brought into the media fuel discontentment with his leadership. I don't know whether he is a good leader or not but I refuse for the media or anyone else to "form my opinion".No body could be a worst leader than Perry Christie.

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Publius 4 years, 2 months ago

If you don't know whether he is a good leader or not, then he is not (unless you don't live here or do live here but pay no attention to your nation). Sound leadership is undeniable; we generally know it when we see it, feel it and encounter it. If you cant tell, then there is likely nothing to tell.

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Godson 4 years, 2 months ago

However, some of us has had personal encounters and personal experiences with the prospective leader which were not very impressive or honorable on his part to say the least.

But, after putting all this aside and sincerely taking an objective position - knowing that my personal grievances ought not to stand in the way of what is best for the overall good of The Bahamas and its people - Dr. Minnis still went on and failed me in what I entrusted to him.

What now shall I do?

Shall I continue to repose my confidence in him?

Please suggest to me something that I, and the Country, can live with since some think that having a proper convention consisting of the election of party officers might be too unbearable as a consequence for Dr. Minnis's failures, or lack of proactive and effective leadership!!!

... but please spear me, the FNMs and The Bahamian people the pain by saying we all have to live with circumstances as they now stand for the next 2,310 days because of a hurried one (1) day convention result.

Godson 'Nicodemus' Johnson

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Publius 4 years, 2 months ago

For those who now talk about the rigged convention the FNM had, I have a question. Since many of you knew all along what the convention would be about and you knew all along that it was being rigged, why did you just sit there and not raise hell until something changed? Why sit and wait for something to happen and then afterward complain that what happened should never have happened? What you claim cuts to the very heart of what you say your party was founded upon. If you didn't feel strongly enough about it to fight for it, then what sympathy do you want from the public now, particularly since you are here to serve and not the other way around. You all are collectively responsible in varying degrees for where you find yourselves today. This is the reality of personal responsibility that Bahamians seem to hate more than most things. Every day you are writing all these anonymous letters hoping to pave the way for persons who do not even want to walk on that pathway anymore. Where were these letters when the convention, as you say, was being stacked in an historically corrupt manner? Where were your anonymous leaks to your favorite reporters when this was taking place? This is the collective shame of the FNM. Go and fix what you enabled, don't come crying to us now thinking we are going to help you sort out your own messes. We have enough messes in this country to focus on that we have different degrees of control over, if any at all.

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Godson 4 years, 2 months ago

However, some of us has had personal encounters and personal experiences with the prospective leader which were not very impressive or honorable on his part to say the least.

But, after putting all this aside and sincerely taking an objective position - knowing that my personal grievances ought not to stand in the way of what is best for the overall good of The Bahamas and its people - Dr. Minnis still went on and failed me in what I entrusted to him.

What now shall I do?

Shall I continue to repose my confidence in him?

Please suggest to me something that I, and the Country, can live with since some think that having a proper convention consisting of the election of party officers might be too unbearable as a consequence for Dr. Minnis's failures, or lack of proactive and effective leadership!!!

... but please spear me, the FNMs and The Bahamian people the pain in saying that we all have to live with circumstances as they now stand for the next 2,310 days because of a hurried one (1) day convention result.

Godson 'Nicodemus' Johnson

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proudloudandfnm 4 years, 2 months ago

The sheep mentality has taken over the FNM. Delegates will ignore the members again if another convention is held. Members need to make sure our voices are heard somehow. We have to get these delegates to vote how WE eant and not how they want....

No way Minnis should have been re-elected in the first place...

Minnis has to go...

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proudloudandfnm 4 years, 2 months ago

No Debbie. It is not too late to change leaders....

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Alex_Charles 4 years, 2 months ago

Well if Minnis loses he can always rage quit and abandon ship like his predecessor. I don't have confidence in any of the three running for the Office of Prime Minister... sad sad times

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Godson 4 years, 2 months ago

No... No... No... That's not proper and that's not the deal!!!... A democratic decision/deal holds the view that if Dr. Minnis wins, I and you should follow him to the till...!!!

And if Dr. Minnis happens not to fair so well, the mature and right thing for him, you and me to do, is to get behind whoever comes forth as leader.

This lowdown mentality to 'sign on only for the benefit and not be prepared to also pick-up the weight of the duty, which comes along with the benefit', is what has gotten this Country in the sad and run-down state that it is in right now: people wanting to get something for free but without the personal commitment and sacrifice that they had initially bargained you to do.

Have you not heard... YOU CANNOT HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO???

Godson 'Nicodemus' Johnson

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Godson 4 years, 2 months ago

No... No... No... That's not proper and that's not the deal!!!...

A democratic decision/deal holds the view that if Dr. Minnis wins, I and you should follow him to the till...!!!

And if Dr. Minnis happens not to fair so well, the mature and right thing for him, you and me to do, is to get behind whoever comes forth as leader.

This lowdown mentality to 'sign on only for the benefit and not be prepared to also pick-up the weight of the duty, which comes along with the benefit', is what has gotten this Country in the sad and run-down state that it is in right now: people wanting to get something for free but without the personal commitment and sacrifice that they had initially bargained you to do.

Have you not heard... YOU CANNOT HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO???

Godson 'Nicodemus' Johnson

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Zakary 4 years, 2 months ago

  • He told The Tribune that he did not understand why the party would consider doing otherwise as political organisations thrive best under a democratic process.

Hilarious. Democracy? Umm...political parties in this country are not democratic and I don’t remember them ever being democratic, the only democratic process (if you will) is the general election itself...

This is the same old free national movement. They can’t figure out who they want to play leader until it's too late. Let all the dirty laundry come out, this current government likes that. Tal seems to know what’s up. I must say, the newspapers get funnier and funnier everyday, better read with a grain of salt.

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DEDDIE 4 years, 2 months ago

I am voting for Dr. Minnis. I don't care what your personal experience was with him. He has not done nothing publicly to convince me that he is unsuitable to be PM. As for the blogger who earlier wrote that Dr. Minnis paid for his cast of delegates to come to the convention to vote, I don't see whats wrong with that. During elections you do all you can do to get your supporters out while doing what can do to suppress those opposite to you. It is called a "ground game". If you allow someone your categorized as a non-leader,lacking inspiration outsmart you, what it says about you. If according to those opposite, Loretta Butler Turner was outfox by Dr. Minnis, sorry guys, its a clear indication that she is not ready for the PLP machinery that invented fox-tology.

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Godson 4 years, 2 months ago

It's a 'free world' where your choice should be respected... and at the end of the day, if it happens to align with the choice of the majority, I am obliged to aligned myself, as well, with your choice. I hope that you will be as respectful with me and commit to honoring my choice as well.

Godson 'Nicodemus' Johnson

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Voltaire 4 years, 2 months ago

DEDDIE - The "ground game" you refer to is one of the cornerstones of our corrupt, morally bankrupt "democracy" and a route cause of all of our problems. The way we politick in The Bahamas would see half the politicians in jail in a civilized country where there is true respect for the rule of law. As to Dr. Minnis not having done anything publicly to convince you that he is unsuitable to be PM, well, I guess bumbling and confusing one's words every time one speaks is a suitable qualification for PM in your eyes; you must have no problem with a PM who makes a rank fool of himself on the international stage, comparing the PLP to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in a public display of crass insensitivity; I suppose you don't mind a man who enriches himself off the public while in government, making half a million dollars from a Ministry of Health contract, WHILE he is the Minister of Health (and failing to disclose this to parliament, then pretending that he had); you must think it is good and proper for a prospective PM to remove a senator and replace her with a personal supporter, claiming that this was part of the party's two year "rotation policy", but leave other senators there for three years or more. I mean, he can't even make good excuses for his self serving behavior. Did he think we couldn't see the other FNM members of the senate? Does he think they are invisible??

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Godson 4 years, 2 months ago

Voltaire & Readers, now do you all see what I meant in saying that the people are only following the leaders?

Just like you so poignantly stated, Voltaire, "The "ground game" [Deddie] refer to is one of the cornerstones of our corrupt, morally bankrupt "democracy" and a route cause of all of our problems.".

THE CRIMINAL ARE INSPIRED AND ARE UPHELD TO DO WHAT IT IS THEY ARE DOING BECAUSE OUR LEADERS, IN PRINCIPLE, AND, IN EFFECT, ARE LAWLESS.

Godson 'Nicodemus' Johnson

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licks2 4 years, 2 months ago

So you think that a member who assaults another in the house. . .cussed out another in the house. . .and lets don't forget that big faked "merican" accent she does wear. . .messing up some words may look a little better there sonny!

I hope you noticed that I did not even touched them other things you brought up.. .THATS FOR YALL "RED" PARTY PEOPLE TO FIGHT ABOUT. . .BECAUSE WE IN THE PUBLIC DONT SEE IT THAT WAY. . .WE ARE NOT PARTY-WISED AND CANT SEE PASS WE COLOR!! hHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE!!!

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pilgrimagerock 4 years, 2 months ago

How many Non-Voting Convention did the FNM had when HAI was PM?. The hypocrisy of these all for me baby crew has NO limits.

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Godson 4 years, 2 months ago

The answer is implicit in your question: 'Hubert A. Ingraham was Prime Minister'.

There was no need or call for a leader. The FNM had a leader and the party was already in office. Furthermore, there was no cry out, per se, for a new leader and leadership team.

Do you now notice the distinction between then and now? 'In office' : governing party; 'out of office': opposition party.

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pilgrimagerock 4 years, 2 months ago

According to the Free National Movement Constitution:

1.A Party Convention shall be held at least once in every two years at such time and place as the Central Council shall appoint.

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licks2 4 years, 2 months ago

Now I have to agree with you on that one. . .A NON-VOTING CONVENTION? Sound like somebody up to lil bit of "forgetting they breens" there! Minnis better not let nobody talk him into doing something that dumb. . .because that would be the first time he look "afraid" of LBT them!!

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themessenger 4 years, 2 months ago

Yes, market noise and the pungent aroma of gutter politics.............

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