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Too Early To Tell On Fnm Unity

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

ALTHOUGH video footage of Free National Movement leadership contenders sharing a dance on the convention stage has gone viral, senior FNMs said yesterday that it was too early to tell whether the party is on track to unification.

“I think it’s too early to see that,” said former Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette as delegates entered the Melià ballroom on the second day of the national convention.

“I think we have to look to Friday and see how the voting goes, see which candidate people elected.”

Friday’s leadership vote is expected to quash the bitter infighting that has dogged the party, with many FNMs pointing out that the true test lies in how the victor treats the loser.

Killarney MP Dr Hubert Minnis is defending his leadership post against challenger and former deputy, Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner.

Despite the show of solidarity on the convention stage, Mrs Butler-Turner has publicly stated that she does not believe she will be given a fair chance if Dr Minnis is re-elected as leader and it has been speculated that she will not be ratified as the party’s standard bearer for her consistency.

She has also accused the Killarney MP of doing everything possible to “silence” her voice and “steal” the party’s convention.

On Wednesday night, Dr Minnis told supporters that if he is elected the party will begin a time of “healing and forgiveness,” adding that he will put aside “animosity” and do what is best for the people of the Bahamas.

Yesterday, Mr Symonette insisted that the healing process was more than just a verbal statement but required concerted effort.

“There has to be a concerted effort to heal,” he said. “It’s one thing getting up on a podium and saying ‘heal’. I refer to those persons who are unfortunate enough to be divorced, sometimes you get irreconcilable differences and in a run-up to elections people say things or do things sometimes accidentally or without thinking. So we’ll have to see how that process works.”

During a press briefing yesterday morning, incumbent Chairman Sidney Collie said he was pleased to see Dr Minnis and Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest share the stage with Mrs Butler-Turner and her running mate for deputy Dr Duane Sands.

Mr Collie said: “The lines are drawn, the two top spots have four candidates. No one has withdrawn, there have not been any brokered talks and so I’m assuming unless something happens between now and Friday that there will be contested elections for those positions.

“I was happy to see how the convention ended last night with the two candidates for leader and the two candidates for deputy leader mount the stage together and close out the convention,” Mr Collie said.

“I view this as the beginning of the healing process and I’m optimistic that before the end of this convention we are going to have a clear demonstration of unification of the party.”

However, former Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson contended that it was still too early to tell whether the party has begun to move forward. He expressed confidence that all issues raised ahead of the convention are surmountable, and strongly decried the prospect of consequences for opponents.

“It’s a bit too early to say,” Mr Watson said. “I think we have to get elections behind us and then we can begin to unify. In the heat of campaign things are said but there hasn’t been anything that will prevent us from uniting. We have to swallow those things and move forward.

“I don’t think we should be punishing anybody. I think people have a right to oppose whatever they feel. There can’t be any consequences unless there is a really ridiculous position that someone takes, but ordinarily just contesting an election is not something for which anybody in this party has ever been or should ever be punished.

“It would set a precedent,” he said.

Responding to whether he considered the threat from parliamentarians to have Dr Minnis removed as leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament as egregious, Mr Watson said: “Those things will pass away.”

Both Mr Symonette and Mr Watson have publicly endorsed the Butler-Turner/Sands ticket.

Comments

proudloudandfnm 2 years, 8 months ago

Question answered..

FNM is now more divided than it has evee been in its history...

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licks2 2 years, 8 months ago

No. . .its not. . .you think because you and LBT them mad the whole universe is mad too? Lol! You forget that yinna FNM them don't win governments aye? The people win elections! We want yinna Papa or yinna doc. . .and we most definitely don't want the PLP. . .now that yinna done send us yinna doc. . .sit tight and wait. . .yall ger be the next government!!

Now yinna see what we were telling ya about LBT. . .she is not what we want for government right now. . .all over the place blaming everything on everybody but she dang self. . .dropped out of the race after the delegates "dissed" her big time. . .including the five. . .left her high and dry. . .on stage all by herself!!

Now before ya think I giving yinna "jelly" backs a blight for not going on stage with LBT when she called on YINNA to show "who is the boss round here". . .THAT WAS A NATIONAL DISGRACE. . .ON LBT. . .BUT MUCH MORE ON THOSE WHO "LED" SHE ON AND THEN GIVE HER A "DISS" IN FRONT OF THE NATION!

SO WE HAVE IT. . .SHE CAN'T TAKE ONE "LIL" KICK IN SHE TEETH. . .WHILE DOC WAS TAKING ALL KIND OF "CHAPS" IN HIS HEAD. . .EGGED ON BY LBT HERSELF IT SUSPECTED!

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birdiestrachan 2 years, 8 months ago

That is a whole lot of money to pay for a convention and then with draw> unless she knows she did not have a chance. of winning. As for those who say the PLP is destroying them and the country they are just dishonest. I am happy that both Doc and Butler Turner are FNM's and not PLP. Let me add Lightbourn to Doc and Turner, Thank God they are all FNM

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TalRussell 2 years, 8 months ago

Comrades! True it wasn't taxpayers moneys that dished out the 410 x $850 "per delegate" and that's only if they stuck to their original convention's budget but do as the government in waiting promising full transparency - do tell Tribune readers what in hell cost $850 'per delegate' that from the pictures steamed from the Meliá Nassau Beach was on the cheap - and was "free booze" available to the 410 delegates? Like how much $850 was spent on entertaining the prized political dignitaries and special 'loyal' media personalities?

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proudloudandfnm 2 years, 8 months ago

This convention was Minnis' biggest failure. The party is weaker today than it was when it started...

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licks2 2 years, 8 months ago

How? It was LBT who meltdown and expose herself as fickle and not having a thick skin. He did hit a high point with the public during his speech. . .HIS SPEAKING SKILLS HAS IMPROVED AT ABOUT 300 FOLD. . .NOW HE IS COMING OFF AS THE BEST SPEAKER IN THE FNM. . .WITH A LITTLE MORE PRACTCE HE CAN BECOME LIKE AN LOP OR PGC! NOW IT SEEMS THAT LBT COULD USE SOME TRAINING TOO. . .GET BETTER CONTROL OF INFLECTIONS IN HER VOICE. . .SHOUTING ALL OVER THE PLACE!! AND TURNQUEST SHOWED THAT HE COULD BE FORCEFUL AS WELL. . .THAT CONVENTION WAS DOC AND CO'S BEST MOMENT IN THE EYES OF THE PUBLIC SO FAR!

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