Loretta Butler-Turner in the House of Assembly.
By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
LONG ISLAND MP Loretta Butler Turner yesterday rejected talks of a coalition between the FNM and the DNA as “not a good idea” given the third party’s fledgling status.
Mrs Butler Turner suggested that the way forward is a merger of the two parties and the disbanding of the DNA, whose only appeal she said was the “Branville McCartney brand”.
In an interview with The Tribune, she said the DNA was not strong enough to sit at the table with the FNM because they held no seats in the House of Assembly.
“A coalition is not the way forward in my opinion. What we should be talking about is a merger and an amalgamation of resources. The DNA has no seats in parliament and cannot bring anything to the table,” Mrs Butler Turner said.
“We are the alternative government, clearly the FNM is the alternative choice for the Bahamian people. I cannot see a grouping that has no seats in parliament dictating how the official opposition should move forward.
She said: “My position is this, as an alternative government, it is in our best interest to go out and bring, whether it is Branville McCartney or Greg Moss or another force, bring them to us and let’s get this worthless government out of power.”
Mrs Butler Turner said the FNM’s brand is stronger than the DNA’s and the DNA should just merge with the FNM.
“I do not think the DNA’s brand is strong enough to sit to the table and say ‘we want a coalition’. They do not enjoy the wide spectrum of appeal. Branville McCartney has a following as an individual, the DNA does not have the brand, Branville does,” Mrs Butler Turner said.
“They cannot go out as a brand and win the government, the FNM brand was stronger. I would recommend the DNA disbands and becomes a part of the FNM.”
DNA Leader Branville McCartney told The Tribune last week he had been approached “several times” by senior members within the FNM, as well as sitting FNM MPs, to join the official opposition.
Mr McCartney said while the DNA will never “fold up” and join a “sinking FNM” he proposed for the two parties to “join forces and work together” to oust the the PLP.
FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis said that while he is “open” to forming a coalition he is “turned off” by Mr McCartney’s arrogance. However, he said, he is willing to do “whatever it takes” to rid the country of the PLP.
Neither Dr Minnis nor Mr McCartney has explained exactly how the coalition would work, or if discussions begun on the partnership have.
Yesterday, former Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette expressed support for a “coalition or understanding” between the Free National Movement and the Democratic National Alliance; however, he maintained the FNM didn’t need the DNA to win the next election.
Mr Symonette said while he does not know the details of the proposed partnership, if “accommodations” are made the PLP should be “afraid”.