Former Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette
By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette has said he is confident that the Free National Movement (FNM) would be able to settle its internal differences ahead of the next general election.
Asked whether party support has improved for FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis, Mr Symonette told The Tribune: “I think the healing process will still continue. I am very confident that the FNM, over the next few months, will be able to settle their differences and be able to launch a campaign that will ensure its victory in the next general election.
“The FNM has gone through a procedure of choosing their candidates. We have a number of new faces (and) a number of people who ran in the last election in different constituencies and they are continuing to roll out the candidates over the next few months.
“They are a good slate of candidates. They bring a good mix. They will be very capable of becoming the next government,” Mr Symonette said in an interview with The Tribune this week.
Last month, attorney Michael Scott said Dr Minnis has been unsuccessful in gaining the financial support of “white Bahamians” because that demographic has little confidence in his ability to lead the organisation or the country.
Mr Scott, who several times insisted that he was not racist, added that in his opinion the FNM has also failed to become a successful opposition party under the Killarney MP’s leadership, who he said is not suited to become prime minister.
Although Mr Scott said he was not speaking in any way for Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner, the attorney sought to compare the MP to Dr Minnis, saying the FNM needs someone of her calibre to lead it to a victory in the next general election.
His comments came while he was a guest on the 96.9 FM radio talk show ‘The Revolution’ with host Juan McCartney.
Mr Scott added that it was no secret that he supported the former deputy leader and if she were leader, the question would be a matter of how many seats the organisation would win by. As it stands now, he said it is “touch and go” if the FNM can win the next election.
“He doesn’t project the confidence,” Mr Scott said while clarifying comments he previously made on another radio talk show.
“In my opinion he doesn’t have what it takes to be a successful leader of the FNM. He has not been a successful leader in opposition and in my view will not be a successful prime minister and therefore he is not a catalyst for money and has not been successful in raising funds from the white Bahamian population. That is the gist of what I had to say and I got painted as a racist for that and that’s stupid. That’s what it comes down to.”
He added: “I don’t support Minnis. I don’t think Minnis can take us into the promised land because the whole point of having political parties is so they can become the government. I think as we are structured at the moment we are poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. If we had someone of Loretta’s calibre, it should be a matter of how many seats we’re going to win by. As it is now, it’s touch and go (if we) can win.”