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Delegates Back Me, Says Minnis

Dr Hubert Minnis

Dr Hubert Minnis

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis has suggested that his “close and personal” relationship with the FNM’s more than 400 delegates places him in a position to, for a third time, be elected as head of the opposition party.

However, he skirted around the question of whether he would still work with the six members of Parliament who threatened to have him removed as leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament by way of a petition to Governor General Dame Marguerite if he did not convene a conclave to decide the date of an early convention.

“(If I remain leader) we will be focused on unifying the party and the country to take it in the right direction,” Dr Minnis insisted yesterday when he was pressed on the future of his relationship with the MPs following the three-day convention at the end of the month.

The Killarney MP seemed confident when asked of his support from delegates, as they are currently being courted in the lead up to the July 27 - 29 event. He said his work over the last four years has proven to FNMs with voting power in the convention that he has the ability to lead.

“I have spent the last four years travelling throughout the length and breadth of this country building a personal relationship with Bahamians in the Family Islands,” he told The Tribune.

“So when whomever are selected, they would know my views and they would know I preach that this is the people’s time and what my focuses are. I have focused heavily on ownership opportunities, land reform and the need to strengthen local government.

“Those on the islands would know I have said we need to stop being so Nassau centric and ensure students there are given their fair share of scholarships. I have said this will happen in addition to giving them stipends and easier access to obtaining an education at the College of the Bahamas.”

He added: “They know me personally. My relationship with the delegates is a close one.”

Dr Minnis and FNM Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest will go head-to-head against Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner and Senator Duane Sands during the party’s upcoming convention.

Dr Minnis has previously said he has no doubts that he will remain at the organisation’s helm. Mr Turnquest has also said he is not concerned about the challenge from the mortician and surgeon duo.

Last month, while making his contribution to the 2016/2017 budget debate, Dr Minnis stressed: “We are now preparing for a convention and I will enter as leader and I will emerge as leader of the Free National Movement.”

Former Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette has warned Dr Minnis that it would be a mistake for him to block the nominations of the “gang of six” MPs if he successfully defends his post.

In a previous interview with The Tribune, Mr Symonette said Dr Minnis should be careful with his campaign strategy of playing the “victim” as he emphasised the value of retaining experienced politicians.

He pointed out that the dissenting MPs represented the party’s brand in Parliament, adding that the days of a “one-man” platform have passed.

“I think Dr Minnis’ campaign so far has been about being a victim,” Mr Symonette said on June 26. “He’s showing an ‘I’m from Bain Town’ type of approach. There’s nothing wrong with that but if you look at public disclosures, he’s the richest FNM MP in Parliament. You can’t claim that and live in a gated condominium that you own, you have to be very careful playing that issue.

“He’s saying the MPs have revolted against him; well the MPs have tried to talk this matter through for a long time and it hasn’t worked. You know what they say, there are three sides to every story.”

Mr Symonette added: “I think the days of the one-man (band) has passed and it is a team concept that the electorate wants to see. You see it around the world. The Bahamas really needs to put forward a team that shows a good ability to govern.”

Dr Minnis’ stint as leader of the FNM has been marked by infighting.

Most recently, The Tribune exclusively reported on an email in which Central Grand Bahama MP Neko Grant was critical of Dr Minnis’ performance during the wrap up of the 2016/2017 budget debate. He said the Killarney MP showed “no interest” in the head-by-head exercise and seemed unprepared. The email was sent to the party leader and other members of the FNM.

Mr Grant, leader of opposition business in the House, said he was sure Dr Minnis had not studied the budget and that his behaviour was “most disturbing” and “disrespectful”.

Mr Grant’s attack on Dr Minnis also comes weeks after the “gang of six” MPs, including Mr Grant, wrote a letter to the party’s Central Council outlining Dr Minnis’ weaknesses as a leader.

St Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman, Montagu MP Richard Lightbourn, North Eleuthera MP Theo Neilly, Mr Grant, Mrs Butler-Turner, and Fort Charlotte MP Andre Rollins were dubbed the “gang of six” after they threatened to have Dr Minnis removed as leader of the opposition in Parliament.

Both Mr Grant and Mr Lightbourn last week said they support Mrs Butler-Turner and Senator Sands in the leadership race.

Comments

mangogirl01 4 years, 3 months ago

Sure they will back you if you are paying their expenses! Smdt!

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Economist 4 years, 3 months ago

Delegates, this is not about Minnis being your good buddy or paying for stuff. This is about his performance over the last three or four years as leader. The fact that this convention is necessary should indicate to you that he has been unable to show many of us that he has any ability at all.

I don't know Minnis or any of the contenders, but can go on what I have seen and read. I will not vote FNM in the next election if you put Minnis back in, I have no confidence in him as a leader. This country is facing the most serious crisis since the 1930's. He is clearly incapable of dealing with the situation.

He maybe a very nice person, but he is not a leader.

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licks2 4 years, 3 months ago

I have been hearing you opined forever about what or who is what a leader. . .a good leader! It just down on me that no matter what we say to you. . .you insist that rocking doc is not a good leader! So please tell me. . .what is a good leader? Do you know. . .give me the "dope" on what is a good leader and I, like others will determine if doc is a good leader or not!

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Economist 4 years, 3 months ago

The ability to delegate by empowering people. Lyndon Pindling did this well. He empowered A.D. Hanna, Clement Maynard thus broadening his own power base. In his early years he surrounded himself with young intelligent people like Fred Mitchell, Sean McWeeney, Hubert Ingraham

He had a vision, or had persons (those young intelligent people) who gave him a vision and was able to communicate that vision to others.

A good leader must have energy. Good leaders never seem tired.

Must have a good command of what is going on and be able to answer questions quickly. A good leader is confident.

He must be able to articulate so as to lead people. The ability to create a creative and energetic team. Not just a yes team but an innovative team that is able to adjust to different political and economic events.

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licks2 4 years, 3 months ago

I believe that the essentials to good leadership are approachable, can inspire for innovative thinking, honest, delegates in an organized fashion (aligned with scope of innovations and team goals), has a team communication plan, confidant, commitment, positive attitude, creative and intuitive and must be selective in following "best" ideas. Not tossed about by everybody thinking. . .for example, change ya hair style if others think ya should etc.! The story of the maker of the Model T was challenged by one of his board members who thought that he was inarticulate, uneducated and not too bright! When asked what is he going to do the first time he is challenged to explain his model. . .he replied: " I will call you. . .that's why I hired you. . .you are educated and know the specs of the model T. . .if I learn those things then I have no further need of you"! It really has little to do with the team. . .than with the skills in the man! People follow a steady ship of a man . . .doc has done an outstanding job of outwitting the gang of six!

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Publius 4 years, 3 months ago

Face it, most Bahamians do not care about the greater good or the larger picture. They are into instant gratification that cannot even meet their immediate needs in life. And then when it all falls apart, they sit and point fingers at who was to blame when personal responsibility is always just that - personal.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 3 months ago

400 delegates multiplied by their 6 or so on average immediate and extended family members who have also been promised jobs and other goodies, all to be paid at the expense of honest hardworking taxpayers if Minnis should ever miraculously become PM. Wow, Minnis is now basically confessing he has bribed 400 delegates and their kin to such an extent he is virtually sure he has their delegate vote in the bag. Man o' man...say it ain't so! If Minnis is still around come election time, I definitely will not be voting for the FNM candidate running in my constituency.

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DEDDIE 4 years, 3 months ago

Over the years we have gotten so use to slick talking career politicians/lawyers that when someone who is self made, paperboy to doctor comes along we think that he can't be a good leader. I look forward to someone other than a lawyer leading this country. Beware of lawyers they put burdens on men that they themselves don't want to bear.

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DillyTree 4 years, 3 months ago

Maybe his paid delegates, but I don't think he has the supporters in the ordinary voter.

I live in Minnis's constituency and WON'T vote for Minnis if he is leader going into this next election.

I'm disgusted with how litter he has done and how ineffective he is as a leader. And even embarrassed when he speaks -- he sounds like a very uncomfortable 5th grader reading his book report -- which he never read in the first place.

I hope the delegates are paying attention to the voices of the people, as just on this thread alone it's clear that many do not want Minnis as leader.

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licks2 4 years, 3 months ago

I can invite you to our breakfast place. . .get to meet the man on the street. . ."DOC IS FOR THE SMALL MAN". . .is the anthem to the doc on the street. . .don't fool yourself. . .if not him for next PM. . .then BRAND WILL BE IT!

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Economist 4 years, 3 months ago

The point about Doc being for the Small man is the very problem. Doc talks of tax breaks in certain areas of Nassau. Sounds great to the Small man except that it means nothing as the"Small Man" will not be able to take advantage of the tax break unless several other things are put in place.

Doc has not mention how he plans to put those much more difficult things in place which are necessary for the "Tax Breaks" to be effective.

Doc is no better than the PLP.

Full of talk about a rosy day that will never come. How is that being for the Small man?

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licks2 4 years, 3 months ago

One principle in planning and strategic management is that your project charter is not what holds the scope verifications, diagnosis, predictions and assessments. Banfield rational planning model put it this way: a widespread project like this needs to perform reductions and elaborations, design a course of action (action plan), comparative evaluation of risks (for risk managements), choice among alternatives, implementation of chosen alternative(s) and monitoring and quality control! To be fair. . .it is not doc who will carry out the technical process for the idea. . .Just like Henry Ford told his board member who said that he was uneducated, inarticulate and dumb to the working of his own model car and can't explain the model if asked. . .Mr. Ford replied: " that's why I hired and pay you. . .you will explain it to them. . .if not. . .why do I need you"! One Sunday I heard Jerome Sawyer asked LBT to articulate her national development ideas and she sounded so trite, uninformed, general and clichéd. . .that was because she thought that persons keep asking doc to expound on his initiative and he had not. . .the better thing to do was to expound on ideas she hold! That was a damning mistake. . .implementing new mega initiatives require professional planning for which doc nor LBT has the skills set to perform! Therefore any attempt to do so will end up like LBT. . .it makes you look clueless! They must only present the idea charter. . .just the general idea. . .not the specifics!!

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Alex_Charles 4 years, 3 months ago

What a time to be alive in the Bahamas, either Minnis who has great ideas and policies but questionable leadership qualities or Loretta from the political dynasty and the full backing of ever special interest in the Bahamas. Let's not forget the political suicide bomber Duane Sands, who never won an election in his life. While I have basically given up on this country's political system it is going to be fascinating watching this unfold. Will Hubiggty emerge back on the scene after he abruptly rage quit leaving his party in shambles? Will Christie ever step down? Will we slip into full blown failed state status? Find out on the Next Exiting episode of Banana Republic!

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