Mps Turn Out To Support Butler & Sands

Loretta Butler-Turner addressing supporters at the launch of her leadership campaign in Rawson Square. 

Photo: Tim Clarke/Tribune Staff

Loretta Butler-Turner addressing supporters at the launch of her leadership campaign in Rawson Square. Photo: Tim Clarke/Tribune Staff


Tribune Staff Reporter


LONG ISLAND MP Loretta Butler-Turner last night called herself and Senator Dr Duane Sands the “best team” not only to lead the Free National Movement, but also to take the country out of the hands of the “worst government the country has ever seen”.

Addressing a crowd of what The Tribune estimated to be 200 supporters in Rawson Square, Mrs Butler-Turner took the government to task on its many “failed promises” while outlining her plan for a new FNM and a new Bahamas.

One of her key ideas to crack down on crime is to implement a minimum sentence of 30 years without the chance for parole for convicted murderers.

She was supported by several current FNM members of Parliament as well as former Cabinet ministers, including former FNM Leader Tommy Turnquest, Central Grand Bahama MP Neko Grant, St Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman, former Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson, former House Speaker Alvin Smith, former FNM Chairman Darron Cash,

Senator Monique Gomez, former Senator Heather Hunt, former Senate President Lynn Holowesko and former Garden Hills MP Brensil Rolle, who all publicly endorsed her as the “woman to take the country to the next level”.

Mrs Butler-Turner described herself as a 21st century leader as she pledged to create jobs and opportunities for young persons, loosen lending rules for borrowers, improve the justice system, reduce crime, improve the education system, stimulate the economy and bring down the cost of electricity.

The Long Island MP was overwhelmed with cheers as she outlined her approach to addressing the “vexing” crime problem in the country. She said a “Turner and Sands” government would ensure that no crime, no matter how small, goes unpunished, as she promised to impose a minimum sentence of 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole for all convicted murders.

“Crime is our cancer. When criminals are caught, our justice system must be relentless. This means rooting out incompetence, injustice and, where it is found and corruption from our courts and prosecutorial teams.

“But it also means taking radical steps to impose stiffer penalties against our most dangerous, and to impose them more rapidly. Homicides should carry with them a mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison with no right to parole,” Mrs Butler-Turner said.

“Finally, we must accept that there is no such thing as a small crime. Any act of vandalism, no matter how big or small, is an act of hostility to our community, every trespass a potential source of fear. Every petty theft an invitation to more serious crimes. By adopting a New Providence-wide approach to saturation police patrols, and punishing people for a crime as soon as it is spotted, we can do for Nassau what worked for New York and other cities, restore a sense of order first and security second and little by little, of civic pride third. If it worked for what used to be the toughest city on earth, it can work for us.”

Mrs Butler-Turner also implored all FNM supporters to reach out to the 410 voting delegates and encourage them to vote for her and Dr Sands.

“You have an opportunity to choose Turner and Sands. I want to talk very seriously; we are a team because we know it takes more than one person to run a country. We are a team because we know we are going to need a lot more hands in this with us and so when we say to you that this is our launch for FNM convention in July 2016,” Mrs Butler-Turner said.

“We want you to understand that many of you may not have the opportunity to vote at our convention but you can go to those 410 people who will be making that choice for you and tell them you want us. I am going to reach out, along with my partner, and we will talk to every 410 of them and we are going to tell them our plan for turning this country around.

“We are going to tell them we need to rid this country of this burdensome PLP government. We are going to tell them that this fight is not within the FNM but this is for saving the country. Please join us, please tear up the phone lines, please tear up social media, please talk to the 410 delegates. We will do our part, but we need you to do yours.”

The FNM’s convention is slated for July 27 - 29.

Mrs Butler-Turner lost her leadership challenge to Dr Hubert Minnis at the party’s last convention in 2014. Dr Sands also ran unsuccessfully for the deputy leader post, losing to East Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest.


DDK 3 years, 10 months ago

Shame there couldn't be a Minnis-Turner or Turner Minnis team! Problem is both want to lead! Both persons have good qualities that would be an asset to a governing party. Right now they are tearing in two the only viable opposition the Bahamas has!


Publius 3 years, 10 months ago

The animosity between the two spans way back in 2007 when they were both in the Cabinet and had to be separated ministeriallly because they could not get along. They brought that pettiness into Opposition from the very beginning. There was never any hope of unity with those two from the start, and things only got worse as time went on. But that is classic FNM - work to destroy one another to achieve a goal that benefits almost no one at the end of the day.


Publius 3 years, 10 months ago

Mrs Butler-Turner also implored all FNM supporters to reach out to the 410 voting delegates and encourage them to vote for her and Dr Sands.

That is her job, not ours. This is precisely the problem. They are having these big productions but they are not doing the work where it matters singularly - the voting delegates. They are not selling themselves to the delegates. They are behaving as though they are already leader and deputy going up against the PLP. She asked the general public to reach out to delegates when Butler-Turner herself will tell you she does not even know who all of the delegates are!


NassauBoy77 3 years, 10 months ago

Hold on now...Minnis supporters can do it but not Turner's supporters??? She said that they would. However, she is right, any supporter should let the delegates know. Their interest should be in securing a government. The people have a right to let the FNM know exactly what it is that they want.


Publius 3 years, 10 months ago

You missed the clearly stated point, but that is fine. Minnis is sealing up delegates. He isn't expecting you or I to help him to do that, he is doing it by any means necessary unfortunately. He is already the leader. He can do what Loretta cannot at this point. Her strategy one-on-one with the delegates has to be that much more aggressive because she is coming from an extreme deficit within that 400-plus grouping. If the delegates were that much concerned about our opinions they wouldn't be so hard and fast for Minnis.


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