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Symonette Urges 'Don't Block Gang Of Six'

Former Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette

Former Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette said yesterday that it would be a mistake for FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis to block the nomination of the “gang of six” MPs if he successfully defends his post at next month’s convention.

Mr Symonette warned Dr Minnis to be careful with his campaign strategy of “victimhood” 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,” he said. “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.”

Reflecting on the latest party leak of a scathing email from Central Grand Bahama MP Neko Grant to Dr Minnis, Mr Symonette called for a ceasefire on both sides to ensure a smooth convention and a stronger party.

The Tribune exclusively reported on the email, wherein Mr Grant was critical of Dr Minnis’ performance during the wrap up of the 2016/2017 budget debate, saying 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”.

“I think it’s an unfortunate issue that private emails are leaked,” Mr Symonette said when contacted for comment. “You would have thought that if I had a beef with you, I’d send you an email or call you up say my beef and not expect it to go on further.

“If what was said in the email is correct, I think Mr Grant was obviously echoing his frustration, which he had every right to do. I’ve been there.”

He added: “One year we tried to get Christie to do something, and he wouldn’t, so we said ok and we kept them there all night just for the hell of it.

“It’s very informative because that’s a time that shows if people have really read the budget. The mischief is in the details.

“If this (email) was leaked by the recipient, then of course he’s trying to do damage to one of his MPs,” he hypothesised. “The problem then is we go into a convention, and in the event that Dr Minnis wins does he then nominate his detractors who are at the moment the holders of the FNM brand in Parliament?

“If he doesn’t nominate them he comes out with six vacant seats that have to be filled, that doesn’t help. My recommendation to both sides is try to come together and figure out the best way to go into this convention so this thing isn’t nasty and create a better party at the end of the day.”

“There is only one objective, to be the next government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. We should never lose focus on that point. The Christie administration is messing up. There have been murders (nearly) every day since they announced that crime was down. Baha Mar hasn’t worked. There is enough fodder for election campaign for the opposition. They don’t need infighting.”

St Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman, Montagu MP Richard Lightbourn, North Eleuthera MP Theo Neilly, Mr Grant, Long Island MP Loretta 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 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.

Dr Rollins has since expressed that he will not seek a constituency nomination from the party if Dr Minnis is re-elected as leader.

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

The memo, dated May 31, was used to outline their case to the council as they underscored the need for an early convention, which was later set for July 27 to 29.

Mrs Butler-Turner, the party’s former deputy leader, will challenge Dr Minnis for the FNM’s top post at that time.

Mr Symonette has publicly endorsed both Mrs Butler-Turner and running mate Duane Sands, who will vie for deputy leader.

“The FNM isn’t short of people to nominate but it changes the dynamic,” he said yesterday.

“It would be a mistake to go into election without offering the ‘gang of six’. They’ve fought it out for five years. You have to blend the experienced, with the new blood.”

Comments

Rhetoric 2 years, 9 months ago

The days of Bahamians listening to the children of Roland Pop Symonette are over!!!

MajorityRule

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B_I_D___ 2 years, 9 months ago

Yeah...look at where Majority Rule got us...buncha dishonest crooked politicians padding government jobs with worthless employees and making the Bahamas one of the most expensive places to live in, in the world...all the while we are pumping out thousands of children each year from school with failed grades and poor attitudes. Majority Rule...something to be oh so proud of...

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 9 months ago

Pindling, Ingraham and Christie opened our country to illegal immigration for their own political gain....selling Bahamian citizenship for political support of their own corrupt greedy power hungry agendas favouring themselves, their families, their friends and their business cronies. The end result is that Bahamians are now the poor minority within their own country, So much for majority rule thanks to Pindling, Ingraham and Christie! The Bahamian people need to go after the wealth stolen from them by these three corrupt scoundrels and their equally corrupt elitist friends, like Craig Flowers and Seas Bastian. Restitution for the benefit of the Bahamian people is clearly warranted, and will come. As for the Symonette family, they had better step aside or risk their piggy bank being broken for the returning to the Bahamian of all that they have stolen from Bahamians. Brent and Craig Symonette are no different than the likes of Sir Snake!

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TalRussell 2 years, 9 months ago

Comrade Brent in his urging of the party 'Don't Block Gang Of Six Red House MP's ' or as they're better seen, as the six letter writers lead by Long Island's Loretta, St. Anne's Chippie and Montagu's Richard, isn't exactly taking the "closed" position he took back in April 2016 during the short nomination period for the red party's election to replace the two chairman's, who had both resigned ever so suddenly?
Back then the former red party's deputy prime minister Brent conveyed "surprise" over the unexpected party's nomination for a replacement chairman was taking. Brent said that "there was an understanding that only one person would offer for the post of chairman?"
Brent and many others in the red shirts top brass thought the process should have been closed to Comrade Rodney Moncur's, last minute bid to run for the chairman's post.
Some could say that Brent's position against Rodney and his warning to Dr Minnis to be careful with his campaign strategy of “victimhood” as he emphasized the value of retaining experienced politicians, is nothing more than double-dealing in political play.
None could honestly have said that Rodney was without political experience. They just didn't like his type of experience. Sounds similar to what Minnis must be thinking about Loretta, Chippie and Richard?
I guess it was fine when the red party's top brass were engaged in their campaign strategy of "victimhood,' to block Rodney the little person red shirt?
Brent, don't you see why the top brass and their political puppets who are fighting to retake back the control of the Papa Hubert/UBPism red party, have lost all credibility among the electorate masses?
P.S. Brent do you want to explain, why it was that YOU and the "TO BRASS" had felt all "victimhood" enough to try to "block" the little guy Comrade Rodney's bid for party chairman?

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DEDDIE 2 years, 9 months ago

On one hand you don't consider me a good leader, on the other hand you want me to lead you into the general election. If Minnis wins, the MP's who so vehemently oppose should do the honorable thing. "Fall on their swords".Minnis will be a fool to keep six "Brutus" with swords as rear guards.

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John 2 years, 9 months ago

Minnis is caught between a rock and a hard place. If he cannot discipline and control these members in opposition, how could he ever control them if they were to win the government? Does Loretta Butler-Turner and Andre Rollins offer that much better alternative leadership, pregnant with ideas, to move the country forward or they just a duo of overambitious politicians greedy to get their hands on the reins of leadership and power?

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Sickened 2 years, 9 months ago

I don't think that it is about power at all. It is about having a strong leader and getting rid of the absolutely corrupt PLP at all costs. If there was a strong leader in place I am sure both Turner and Rollins would be more than happy standing by his/her side in order to trounce the PLP.

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John 2 years, 9 months ago

The hypocrisy of this saga, then, is Andre Rollins left another party where he had issues with leadership and party policy, to join the FNM then under the leadership of Hubert Minnis. So can one conclude that he never intended to rule under Minnis but came 'in from the cold' with the intentions of being a radical, if not disruptive?

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TalRussell 2 years, 9 months ago

Comrades! Let it not be lost when weighing this red shirts infighting matter, why this is not all all a new thing among red shirts. Papa just did better job keeping it under the public radar.
But sometimes the radar was week like how Papa Hubert and his DPM Brent were never known to sing off the same sheet music. In fact, one need only read what a US Embassy offical had to say in the Julian ?'s Wikileaks documents about what Papa Hubert really thought of his DPM Brent?
Trust me, Brent couldn't have been smiling when he was a reading what the US Embassy official was 'recording for the US government's record keeping, all about him?

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SP 2 years, 9 months ago

What connects Hubert Ingraham, Frank Watson, Brent Symonette to Fred Ramsey?

Of course Brent Symonette supports BLT, Sands and the whole Gang Of Six'. He can control them, go back to granting Bahamian citizenship from the trunk of his car to Haitians, set up more "blind trusts" than ever and return to piracy!

Everybody conveniently acting oblivious to the fact that Fred Ramsey delivered bribe money to a corrupt FNM Cabinet led by Hubert Ingraham, Frank Watson, Brent Symonette!

Bahamas has to be the only country in the world where people turn a blind eye to such blatant corruption at Cabinet level and go on considering these people as "leaders".

FNM's and PLP's are just fine with piracy and corruption from the highest level of government down to the city dump!

Enough is enough, PLP & FNM better not show up to my door asking for my families vote!

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alfalfa 2 years, 9 months ago

Symonette is a has been, opportunist, and should stay out of politics. Enjoy the spoils of your honorably gained wealth.

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birdiestrachan 2 years, 9 months ago

They need the outspoken QC to go to the Judge about this leaked e mail So if the Doc lives in a gated community he had to let toggie the man who bought him fish two or three times into the gate, one thing for sure Doc can lie faster than fish can swim. .. "Roc with Doc" is far removed from Bains Town, He is only playing with poor people because he wants to be PM. Can any one imagine him meeting with heads of states?

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birdiestrachan 2 years, 9 months ago

Ah well. At least you are not just cussing.

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Stapedius 2 years, 9 months ago

I really have a disdain for this snake Symonette. Sometimes it's best to reserve comment. That BS line about I'm from bain town approach tells me that he really doesn't get it. And what does Minnis' wealth have to do with it? Such a snake and a shabby excuse for a leader. Ip

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BMW 2 years, 9 months ago

I would like to see short grubby stubby finger davis meet with headsvof state outside the bahamas. What would the outcome be birdie

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tonymontana 2 years, 9 months ago

AS FOR THE GANG OF 6 NEKO AND LORETTA MAY BE ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN , NO MATTER THE OUTCOME , PLEASE DONT SEND NEKO TO CENTRAL GRANDBAAHAMA OR NO WHERE ELSE .

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Sickened 2 years, 9 months ago

So, either the FNM loses Minnis or the FNM loses 6 of their most appealing candidates. Hmmm! I say lose Minnis.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 9 months ago

There is NO reason for the Gang of Six to stay in the FNM if Minnis wins again .......... who goes down with a sinking ship??????? .................. I will be extremely disappointed if they, (Gang of Six) who have already called out Minnis on his "leadership unfitness" and then cower and stay in the FNM after the convention for a nomination........ that is not LEADERSHIP and that an option for those of us who cannot vote for Perry or HAM in 2017 ...... sorry

If HAM wins again, the time is NOW for the gang of Six to step out and start a Social Revolution against the corrupt Perry-led PLP and the inept HAM-led FNM ............. that is the only viable option

And that letter must be sent to Dame SLOP the day after the FNM convention (if HAM wins)

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licks2 2 years, 9 months ago

They will never follow LBT or AR as their leader. . .they will simply eat their young. . .three of them will jump ship to save their political hips. . . no party will take those two "snipers" in like rocking Doc did. . .THEY ARE BUS BAIT. . .THE BIG RED BUS. . .OR THEY MUST SIT SMALL AND BEHAVE THEIR SELF! They chased after the lion. . .they got it. . .NOW THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT. . .WITH ALL THE "BETTER LEADERSHIP SKILLS THEY SUPPOSED TO HAVE. . .THEY ARE NOW FALLING APART AND COMPLAINING ABOUT THE PROCESS! WHAT A BUNCHA CLOWNISHNESS!!

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TalRussell 2 years, 9 months ago

Comrade even if the gang of six red MP's does send off their existing letter or a redrafted letter to Her Excellency the day after the FNM convention if Minnis wins, it is highly unlikely HE will not outright reject their letter as she calls them out for what they really must been seen as - nothing but a dysfunctional gang of six particulates of red shirts who have done so much to involve HE in bringing their harmful letter writing materials to thwart the democratic will of a vast majority red party voting convention delegates.
They should be arrested, charged, convicted and jailed for party treason - with double hard prison time handed down to the gang's three best known to be leading the gang of six.
The judge may even recommend for the prosecution to be taking a good closer look into the actions of the former DPM, as a possible co-conspirator, or a minimum to have him permanently expelled for being a red party member in bad stating in the eyes of the voting delegates?

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 9 months ago

My dear Tal ............... both Perry and HAI are far beyond being tried for treason right now ....... the Gang of Six will be doing all of us a favour if they overthrow the hapless Hubert Minnis ......... it takes testicular fortitude to wrestle this country from the PLP & FNM cartel

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licks2 2 years, 9 months ago

Of which LBT, BS, DS et al are high ranking among them! You call him hapless but he slapping the hell outta the gang. . .sound like LBT learned rocking doc how to slap that hard. . .even Rollins done gone quite since HI told National Review that he is not AR. . .after the question about the doc leadership style was publically put to him! This shows the difference between fool and sense. . .tactful. Now papa endorsed DS in public and left LBT out in the cold. . .NOT A WORD ABOUT HER!! STONE COLD NOTHING!! The whole six gone soooooooooooooo quite. . .now they want to sit small! They will end up like the dog barking at the moving car. . .the car stopped. . .they are milling around. . .LOST AS THE CITY OF ATLANTIS. . .PREDICTING THEIR OWN CUT HIPS AT CONVENTION! WHAT A JOKEY CREW. . .THEY FIND THAT WHILE THEY WERE BUSY PLAYING THE FOOL IN PUBLIC THE SHIP OF STATE HAS SAILED AND LEFT THEM ON A LITTLE ISLAND . . .ALONE! Lol!

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TalRussell 2 years, 9 months ago

Comrade Sheeprunner, the people understand what the PLP cabinet have been up to does fall far short attempting to use Her Excellence to fudge the democratic will of a political party's voting convention delegates.
But again who knows with this gang of six - considering, first there was that call for a rushed convention but the delegates were not to be allowed to vote? Believe me, I am not making this stuff up. I guess the delegates were expected to just sit there on there asses and watch the rubbing stamping process taking place?
My question is, if somehow the gang of six are able to fudge nominations from the party's executive council to run for House seats come the 2017 General, do you think they will have the bullocks to print the red party's "A MATTER OF TRUST" logo on their campaign materials?

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 9 months ago

THE GANG OF SIX IS THE ONLY HOPE FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!

There must be a complete break with the present PLP&FNM failures during this term IF this country is to pull itself out of the mire that we find ourselves in since 2012

IT IS NOT ABOUT SLOGANS ............. IT IS ABOUT NATIONAL SURVIVAL

WE SHOULD NOT ALLOW PERRY OR THE HUBERTS (HAM&HAI) HOLD US HOSTAGE ANY LONGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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licks2 2 years, 9 months ago

TO MY MIND ONLY ROLLINS OF GANG OF SIX FAME SEEM TO HAVE A LITTLE NATIONALISM IN HIM. . .THE REST. . .HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. . .THEY APPEAR "COOKIEJARLISTIC" . . .

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