By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts yesterday suggested that the acceptance of former members Dr Andre Rollins and Renward Wells into the Free National Movement (FNM) would lead to the downfall of Opposition Leader Dr Hubert Minnis.
Mr Roberts insisted that if the FNM leadership team knew what he now knows with respect to Dr Rollins, the party would reconsider its arrangement with the “often ill-advised” politician.
He asserted that Dr Minnis made a move without “checking off” all the essential factors, claiming that the Killarney MP is too “caught up” in fending off internal adversaries to see what the two former PLP members represent.
Speaking directly to the acquisition of Dr Rollins, the PLP chairman said the Fort Charlotte MP often times “puts his mouth in gear before he puts his brain in motion,” a habit Mr Roberts warned would put the opposition “in a lot of problems”.
Mr Roberts told The Tribune that Dr Rollins has always had the bad habit, which the PLP learned quickly.
When asked about Dr Rollins’ recent behaviour in the House of Assembly and his now prominent role with in the FNM since quitting the PLP last year, Mr Roberts declared: “I would warn them to look a lot closer at Dr Rollins before they leap forward into that situation. Having what I’ve found out about Dr Rollins, I think they may wish to have a second look at that.”
However, when contacted for comment FNM Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest said Dr Rollins entry to the party was a positive thing. “Andre (Rollins) is a forceful and intelligent voice for the opposition and puts forth positions with passion,” Mr Turnquest said.
He added: “Each member of the team has a role to play to ensure the success of the team. He has been a solid contributor to the opposition side since coming over and challenges the government on their promises and conduct since election.”
According to Mr Turnquest, the aggressive actions of Dr Rollins have, in recent weeks, yielded tremendous results for both the FNM and Bahamian society.
Dr Rollins was threatened with removal from the House of Assembly on Monday after he shouted comments regarding former FNM Chairman and Senator Michael Pintard shortly after he resigned from his posts.
The outburst from Dr Rollins, which caused Deputy Speaker Dion Smith to get to his feet and bang his desk in an attempt to bar the comments, was one of many heated moments during the morning session as he repeatedly butted heads with PLPs.
Mr Smith, after having to scream and yell to gain order in the House as MPs on both sides were standing, ultimately expunged Dr Rollins’ comments from the record.
Dr Rollins quit the PLP last June, after government members made several attempts to block him from contributing to the 2015 budget debate in the House of Assembly.
Shortly after joining the FNM, both Dr Rollins and Mr Wells were named to the opposition’s shadow Cabinet as shadow ministers of national security and tourism respectively.