EDITOR, The Tribune.
The Free National Movement (FNM) is in a political crisis of epic proportions. There is no continuity of opposition and it appears to be getting worse.
There appears to be a very small but strong and organised faction that is hell bent on ridding the FNM party of its current leader, Dr Hubert Minnis. And they appear to be getting stronger and more relentless.
Dr Minnis has won two leadership battles in four years and he has handily won both times. Both electoral processes by all accounts were fair and have withstood public scrutiny.
The recent issue with Senator Lanisha Rolle has sparked much debate. I agree that Dr Minnis took too long to respond to her public criticism of Loretta Butler-Turner but when he did respond, the public criticism from his own party should have ceased. After all, he told FNMs to deal with this matter and all other boiling matters internally.
This clarion call was brutally ignored as several sitting FNM members disrespectfully made public statements on this matter, the first of them being Neko Grant.
Just recently, there was an allegation by Loretta Butler-Turner that FNM Chairman Michael Pintard scheduled a meeting in her constituency without informing her. If this was the Chairman’s intent then we all know that this is wrong. The jury on the truth of Butler-Turner’s claim however is still out.
Butler-Turner in true democratic form sent a letter to Pintard to inquire on what she had heard. But this is where it gets interesting. The letter that she sent was leaked. Who leaked the letter? It serves the Chairman no benefit to leak this letter.
It is patently obvious that Butler-Turner must be fully aware of this plot to oust Dr Minnis as FNM leader and it is not unreasonable to believe that she may have a participating role. The fact that an internal party letter that was sent by her to Chairman Pintard that ends up in the hands of the media almost within hours is the most damming evidence yet of a conspiracy to cast Dr Minnis’s leadership in a negative light.
And then the recent comments by Attorney Michael Scott just adds to the plot to have Dr Minnis removed as leader. Scott says that white Bahamians are not in support of Minnis and that he would be hard pressed to become prime minister because he does not have their financial backing.
Dr Minnis is not charismatic. He is not an eloquent speaker. But pray tell me where have these charismatic and eloquent leaders led us? No prime minister can rival current Prime Minister Perry Christie’s charisma or for a better word showmanship. But Christie’s governance has simply been a bumpy ride that is likened to a ship lost at sea and the Bahamas under his leadership is soon to be reduced to junk status by Standard and Poors. Hubert ingraham’s leadership was not much better.
The public bashing of Dr Minnis’s leadership is shameful and most FNMs involved seem to have a self-aggrandising agenda. We need a strong opposition to focus on issues of national interests not an opposition that is airing its own internal scrimmages in the media for all to see. We have National Health Insurance issues, evidence of widespread corruption, high crime rates and the improper education of our children all hanging in the balance.
The Bahamas in 2016 is in a political crisis.
The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) appears to be mobilising its political forces but whether they will be able to galvanise national support to topple the PLP remains to be seen. The FNM is reeling and its disunity has caused many pertinent issues not to be effectively addressed. They have a real opportunity to help elect someone who many believe will not serve the interests of a few, but who will look out for the average man. They can change the status quo. It’s time for the FNM to unite and help get this country out of this political crisis.
February 24, 2016.