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Threats To Remove Minnis At Fnm Council Meeting

FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis.

FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis.

CORRECTION: IN this article published on The Tribune’s website on Friday, it was alleged by sources within the Free National Movement that Dr Andre Rollins said at a council meeting on Thursday that had he known the opposition “was in such a precarious position, he would never have left the Progressive Liberal Party”.

However, Dr Rollins has taken issue with this claim, telling The Tribune that any assertion that he made this statement is “absolutely incorrect”.

The Tribune would like to correct the matter.

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

THE Free National Movement (FNM) is “teetering” on the brink of a leadership meltdown following an “explosive” council meeting, which saw serious threats levelled at Opposition leader Dr Hubert Minnis to have him removed from the post by way of a petition to the Governor General, The Tribune understands.

If certain members of Parliament followed through with this, it would be the second time that they have attempted to advise the country’s head of state that they have lost confidence in their leader. The first attempt was made late last year.

However, a party insider explained that this latest effort differs in that it has the support of six of the opposition's 10 MPs.

These include St Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman, Montagu MP Richard Lightbourn, Theo Neilly North Eleuthera MP, Central Grand Bahama MP Neko Grant, Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner and newcomer to the party, Fort Charlotte MP Dr Andre Rollins.

This threat, FNM sources told this newspaper, was apart of an ultimatum to convene a conclave geared toward deciding a date for the party to hold an early convention. The party announced last month that the event, where all posts would be up for challenge, would be held in November.

However, FNMs who spoke under the condition of anonymity said there is a push for the conclave to meet as early as Saturday - three weeks ahead of when the party’s executive council planned to convene the meeting. 

The special body, tasked with deliberating an earlier convention date, was originally scheduled to meet on June 18.

On Thursday night, scores of FNMs gathered at the party’s headquarters for what some party sources called a “spirited” and “contentious” meeting.

It saw Dr Rollins, another source claimed, confront Dr Minnis about issues he saw within the organisation.

“The Fort Charlotte MP stood and spoke in truth of Dr Minnis’ leadership and the state of the organisation. He spoke of the issues that he saw. He told him if he feels that he has the support of the majority of the council  then call the early convention. It’s that simple,” the source said.

Dr Rollins' words, according to those who attended the council meeting, sparked “fireworks” with those who support Dr Minnis. They called for Dr Rollins to take his seat.

“You know a lot of people agreed with what Rollins said but there were some Minnis attack dogs in the room who did not allow it. You know, since he has lost the support of the majority of the council in Nassau, he has resorted to spending thousands of dollars each month to fly in people from the Grand Bahama council so that he can have people in his corner. We see it as the height of desperation.”

There are Constitutional provisions for a leader of an official opposition party to be removed.

“If in judgment of the governor general the leader of the opposition is no longer a member of the House of Assembly best able to command the support of the majority of members of the House in opposition to the government or the member of the House who commands the support of the largest single group of members in opposition to the government who are prepared to support one leader.”

This is the latest round of controversy to mar the organisation.

Earlier this month, attorney Lanisha Rolle resigned from the Senate citing a “need to focus on a few personal matters”. She will be replaced by Dr Duane Sands.

The former FNM Senator's resignation came after The Tribune published stories about an alleged recording in which she made disparaging comments about several FNM MPs, including Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner, during a conversation with political hopeful Lincoln Bain.

Although her resignation was welcomed by some in the party, the incident is likely to have complicated efforts to rally them behind Dr Minnis, who appointed her to the Senate last year despite concerns from some in the party that she was inexperienced and undeserving of the position.

In the alleged recording of her conversation with Mr Bain, Mrs Rolle reportedly spoke at length about the political future of several members of the party with whom she was dissatisfied. 

During the conversation, she allegedly informed Mr Bain that the party would not nominate him for MP in the Pinewood Gardens constituency, a move that prompted some members to accuse her of “traipsing around conducting party business as though she is an authoritative figure” within the party.

In response, she has insisted that her name has been “slandered”. She was adamant that the alleged recording was “unlawfully” recorded during a private conversation with Mr Bain.

The embattled former senator sought to defend herself from criticism, saying her name has been tarnished with innuendos, propaganda and accusations based on what people think about her meeting with Mr Bain. 

Based on this “defamation” of her character, Mrs Rolle said she was fully within her right to sue the perpetrator of these actions if she chose to do so.

While maintaining that she did “not slip up”, the former senator said her resignation was sparked by personal reasons to the extent that she did not want to be a distraction to the party and its work.

Mrs Rolle courted controversy almost immediately after she was chosen by Dr Minnis to replace Heather Hunt in the Senate. Ms Hunt resigned in January 2015 when Dr Minnis asked her to step down from the post.

Mrs Rolle also faced a backlash in January, when she criticised Mrs Butler-Turner during an appearance on a radio talk show. She said the country would not support the Long Island MP as leader, adding that some MPs are “jealous” of Dr Minnis.

Her statements prompted several sitting MPs to demand that she apologise, which she eventually did.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson said at the time that she had “no sense”, calling her one of Dr Minnis’ “tragic mistakes”.

Comments

sheeprunner12 4 years, 6 months ago

The Constitution allows for it in Article 84 ...... paragraph 4 ........... as a matter of fact, the MPs can get rid of the Prime Minister as well ......... why don't they use their power????????

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Honestman 4 years, 6 months ago

The current PLP MP's won't vote out the PM because they are all in it together. There is such a thing as honour amongst thieves.

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TalRussell 4 years, 6 months ago

Comrade SheepRunner 2 Loretta and MP's might have ask for the Speaker of the House to put Minni's removal as Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition "in the House of Assembly" to an open vote my red MP's - being the Queen has no say as to whether Minnis remains or is removed as the red party's leader outside of the House.
The party neither had the authority in appointing Minnis as the red party's leader in the House, so makes sense, they cannot remove Minis as party leader in the House.

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birdiestrachan 4 years, 6 months ago

The truth is the Doctor is the best the FNM has. Doctor Sands and Butler Turner are both very pompous and they are not liked by many. The FNM Party does not have the ability to attrack the Bahamas finest sons and daughters. I am sorry Mr: Wells followed Dr: Rollins. They all should have known that Rollins is trouble.

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Emac 4 years, 6 months ago

Yea you would say that...But thanks for confirming the potential candicates that the PLP fears most as leaders of the FNM. You and the PLP would love for Minnis to stay on as leader, because you know that he if the ONE tool that the PLP gat that could cause them to win the next election. But God forbid. There would be a riot in this F%CK%ing country first!!!

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licks2 4 years, 5 months ago

Bey. . .the last thing yall want in this nation is to "mess around" with Doc Minnis! Hell. . .as bad as PM christie is. . .I will advise don't go there with him either. . .they got the base of their parties. . .to go there with either "based leaders". . .is to start a national "cumbrocshung" like you would not believe! Don't fool ya self. . .doc have a solid "base" out here among yall base-voters them. . .that LBT cannot command! Only Papa can come back and retake that base again!

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asiseeit 4 years, 6 months ago

You people are sadistic, how you treat your own.

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Honestman 4 years, 6 months ago

DR. Minnis being ousted as FNM leader is the PLP's worst nightmare - just look at the post from Birdiestrachan above.

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Economist 4 years, 6 months ago

Why does Dr. Minnis hang on like this. He must understand that the majority of the FNM voters will not vote for a party where he is the leader.

Maybe Dr. Minnis is there to make sure the PLP win again.

If at the next election the PLP win it will be because those old fashioned, out of touch and has beens council members from Grand Bahama like C.A. Smith, Maurice Moore and David Thompson put the PLP back in by keeping Minnis.

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sheeprunner12 4 years, 6 months ago

Hubert Minnis said on Steve McKinney show that the reason why he has so many "political haters" is that he is a change agent who is determined to get rid of corruption in The Bahamas ........... and that the "haters" want to keep the status quo in his party, the government and the general society .......... who the cap fits, let them wear it ....... GO FIGGER

So let us begin to make a list of Minnis' "political haters" ........ Cash, Ole Dick, LBT, Chippie,

He also said that he will remain as FNM leader, because the "young people" (in the FNM) love him and will support him ......... can we make a list of these "young people"????????

But ............. is this Minnis' real reason/motive for remaining as FNM leader????? We the people need to know the truth and the FNM hierarchy owes its supporters the truth

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TalRussell 4 years, 6 months ago

Comrades it's hard to recall a time in the two daily newspapers long publishing histories when they have been more obvious at dumbing down their readerships.
You'd think by not coming right out and naming MP's Loretta and Richard in each and every store to remove Minnis, they're not being cutely coy in pretending they do not know the identities the two main MP's leading the revolt to regain the UBP's leadership of the red shirts party?
Same goes how their cozy relationships with Save the Bays, panties are showing. You'd think they got the main STB's characters, straight off the Lyford Cay's casting couch's most well-know agent. Or, did they?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 6 months ago

Christie will be laughing all the way to another five year term as PM and Minister of Finance if Minnis stays in the picture. Minnis gives Christie a cheerful feeling of invincibility, and rightfully so! The FNM party has sealed its dismal fate by keeping the incompetent slow thinking and hateful Minnis on board. The FNM Council should have thrown Minnis overboard a couple of years ago when it became painfully clear to all that he is about the most ineffective politician our nation has ever seen; a man most unfit to lead a troop of cub scouts much less a nation!

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Reality_Check 4 years, 6 months ago

Minnis, in entering politics, has only ever had one thing on his mind: HIS TURN AS A GREEDY SOUL TO GET VERY RICH AT THE TROUGH OF FRAUD AND CORRUPTION THAT PERVADES AND DOMINATES POLITICS IN OUR COUNTRY TODAY! Like Christie, Minnis could not care less about our country or the little man or the needy, except in the run up to a general election when it becomes necessary to make the effort to throw a bone or two their way in exchange (as a bribe) for their cheaply sold vote. It is Minnis and not Christie who is leading the PLP to another five year term and many die hard FNM supporters are sadly only just waking up to that fact; but perhaps too late.

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sheeprunner12 4 years, 6 months ago

The FNM has leadership challenges ......... the PLP has leadership intrigue ......... and the DNA has a defacto leader ......... which party will be in the best position to launch its election campaign this Fall with an undisputed credible leader that Bahamians can respect and elect for the future growth and progress of our Nation??????? ........ has that leader emerged as of today????? ............ or should we wait for another?????????

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Stapedius 4 years, 6 months ago

If Rollins really said that then he's an a#$. He really doesn't know how to keep his mouth shut. There's a time and place for things. He doesn't have to always be the loudest one in the room.

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sheeprunner12 4 years, 6 months ago

If the sitting FNM MPs have lost confidence in Minnis' quality of leadership .......... then Minnis should do the honourable thing and resign and call for a mid-July convention with a maximum of 7 democratically elected delegates per constituency (supervised by the Chairman and SecGen) and the elected FNM national executives ......... and no other "superdelegates"

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Publius 4 years, 6 months ago

If the sitting FNM MPs have lost confidence in Minnis' quality of leadership .......... then Minnis should do the honourable thing and resign

Exactly, but third world politicians or politicians otherwise captivated by the love of power generally refuse to the death to recognize that this is what any real leader of integrity ought to do in a democracy.

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Publius 4 years, 6 months ago

The time and the place for such statements in a political party are in its meeting of its Central Council. He spoke exactly where he was supposed to speak. Perhaps you should learn how parties work before calling someone an a$$ for doing exactly what is supposed to be done therein.

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UserOne 4 years, 6 months ago

Whoever the "party insider" is who is leaking this information to the press is damaging his/her own party. This sort of conflict should be worked out within the party and not in public. If the FNM wants a chance at the next election they need to show a united front to the public and sort out their differences behind closed doors.

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EasternGate 4 years, 6 months ago

Unfortunately, HAM supporters believe that only "them" are "true" FNMs. They are missing the point completely as to why many FNMs want a different Leader. We don't dislike HAM, we just know he is a failed Leader. I don't care how smug his council supporters are, the fact remains, we will lose badly if he is the Leader in 2017. It's just that simple.

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Publius 4 years, 6 months ago

In classic FNM fashion, the people he is bribing to stick with him are fighting tooth and nail - not to win an election or give the voters what they would prefer - but to keep their person in at the expense of everything else. FNMs love being in opposition. They fight hardest to remain in the losing seat, even when they are in government. They know the voters do not want Minnis but they do not care. They would rather lose it all.

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SEEKJESUSPLEASE 4 years, 6 months ago

DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ FOLKS! When folks are desperate to stay in power, this is what they do. Belittle their competition! Listen, be wise and use discernment, no matter what, we are better off electing any other party, other than the current one! Do you want the country to continue sinking or do you want to give this new comer a chance to make this country the envy of the world!...You decide! [And for all those present die hards...yu would rather be an opportunist, loyal to the brand that supports your unethical and favoritism characters, even if it means peril to the country!! Sad, very Sad"] You see, many vote for current administration because of what they could get. free this, free that, custom duty dogging and the likes. Please let us pray for Mr. Minnis, and all those sitting on the sidelines criticizing, if you feel you have what it takes, then go and help your brother in Christ to Rise this nation back up to decency! God has the final word regardless; he will be the judge in the end!

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SP 4 years, 6 months ago

................ Everybody missed the main point of Dr. Minnis's problem .....................

Bahamas is steeped in corruption on both sides of the political divide and Dr. Minnis has repeatedly threatened to deal with corruption if he becomes PM.

"The reason why he has so many "political haters" is that he is a change agent who is determined to get rid of corruption in The Bahamas, and that the "haters" want to keep the status quo in his party, the government and the general society"

Obviously the "status quo" will go to ANY lenghts fighting tooth and nail to stay out of prison where they belong!

It is time for people to start seriously LISTENING to Dr. Minnis!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 6 months ago

Minnis looked the Bahamian people straight in the eye and said: "It's not me who receives that $8,000 a month rental income from government (PHA), it's my company that gets that money each month...not me." Minnis is clearly a deceitful SOB who believes the Bahamian people can be so easily fooled. Add to that the criminals who regularly visit his home to supply him with fresh fish, and it becomes patently clear that Minnis doesn't have a decent bone in his body. Christie would love nothing more than to face off against Minnis in the next general election.....it would virtually guarantee another 5 year-term for Christie and his PLP bandits. FNM Council members must appreciate by now the great disdain (bordering on hate) that the Bahamian people have for Minnis; accordingly, he must be made to fall on his sword for the sake of our country!

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Reality_Check 4 years, 6 months ago

Minnis needs to ask himself who gets the dividends from his company that signed the lease agreement with government (PHA). The blithering idiot would have us believe he and his company are not for all intents and purposes one and the same when it comes to enjoying the generous monthly rental amounts paid by PHA to Minnis' company.

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sheeprunner12 4 years, 5 months ago

Dr. Minnis says he has no concern about the actions of the six MPs ......... he says he feels extremely well today!!!!!! ......................... he seems to have some aces in the hole or is he out of touch with the Bahamian political reality??????????

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licks2 4 years, 5 months ago

He "out moved" them at every step for the last 4 years with them at his heels. They want to make us believe that he is "LOW FENCE". . .but every grass root FNM I talk with says he is their man. . .e is a good man and don't like corruption!

I am close to supporting him. . .if he "beat" this last move out to get him. . .I will be on-board with him in the election come 2017. . .God willing for me to be alive. . .and if I decide for him. . .I will ask my friends to do so as well!

He was given the "YES" vote last election by people in his constituency. . .where I am registered. . .he was an excellent MP under Papa. . . kept us up to date and informed with everything that went on in the constituency. . . an excellent strategist!

That was then. . .this is now. . .he is now the "Papa" in the driving seat. He is very likely to be going back into the house. . .Killarney meshed well with him. . . he is a "keeper" as far as we are concern. . .his ace in the hole is his popular support among "John Q. public". . .and his oh so good under pressure personality. . .takes a licking and just keep on ticking! But most of all. . .he comes across as genuine and honest. . .not your typical "smooth" talking slickster politician. . . who is not good at talking in public!!! We don't mind that. . .we like how he "feels" to us. . .we can trust him!! Something like Papa. . .they have their ways but then we know that we can depend on them not to "kick" we in we hips!!

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