By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Democratic National Alliance (DNA) intends to assemble a 13-member Cabinet if elected, according to party Leader Branville McCartney.
The plan was revealed on the sidelines of the party’s announcement of its 27-member shadow Cabinet, which was presented as a means for the party to address specific matters over the course of 2017 election cycle.
The former Bamboo Town MP also claimed Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr Hubert Minnis was still orchestrating moves to coerce members of the DNA with incentives to abandon their posts to give the impression that the DNA “is faltering as a party.”
Mr McCartney claimed: “The FNM (wants) some members to withdraw their candidacy from the DNA ... They are meeting candidates and the reason for that is, they are desperate. This race is between the DNA and the FNM, period. The PLP finished. The FNM and the DNA.
“This is what the polls are saying ... on the ground the DNA is winning. The FNM realises that and that is why Dr Minnis and his crew want to try to come after the members of the DNA.”
He said Dr Minnis should “concentrate on his scripts that he has to read” and focus on the Killarney constituency because the DNA’s candidate for the area, Arinthia Komolafe, is gaining traction.
This is not the first time Mr McCartney has alleged that the FNM was attempting to poach members of the DNA. Last month, Mr McCartney accused his former party of targeting several of the DNA’s candidates, specifically Deputy Leader Chris Mortimer and Golden Isles candidate Stephen Greenslade.
The claim came days after the FNM’s Golden Isles candidate Kenyatta Gibson withdrew his candidacy for the constituency.
Mr McCartney yesterday urged voters, specifically long-time supporters of the FNM, to see through the “gimmicks and pumped up efforts” of the party’s election machinery, further alleging that the FNM was using many of the DNA’s long-held position strategies as a part of its 2017 campaign portfolio.
“Persons from other parties are out there speaking but are not saying how they are going to move this country forward,” said the DNA leader.
Mr McCartney added that much of what was being said by the FNM was simply the “same old, same old,” suggesting that the new concepts being used were variations to plans shared by the DNA.
“FNM are echoing the sentiments of the DNA. Positions that we have put forth since 2011, such as a fixed date for election, you have never heard them say that before. We have said that from 2011. Such as term limits for the Prime Minister, you have never heard them say that before.
“I will tell you what it tells (us). They can talk all they want, they can say everything under the sun in relations to the DNA, but in reality and on the ground they know that people are sick and tired of both the FNM and the PLP.”
He continued: “This election is do or die. You would be voting, by not voting, for the status quo.
Mr McCartney said the collective qualifications and experience of the DNA’s extensive shadow roster brings to an end the debate over whether the third party could form a quality administration if successful during the upcoming general election.
If the DNA is elected next month, the positions of Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs would be by filled by qualified candidates not associated with the party.
Further to that, Mr McCartney himself will take on the portfolio of national security and immigration.
Mr McCartney would be assisted in this capacity by Mr Greenslade, a former police officer and long-time security specialist, whose emphasis will be on the eradication of corruption within government, according to the party
Mr Mortimer will serve as the shadow Minister of Works and Energy.
To date, the DNA has ratified 34 candidates to contest the next general election.
There are 39 seats being contested.
DNA Shadow Cabinet
• National Security & Immigration - Branville McCartney and Stephen Greenslade
• Works & Energy - Chris Mortimer
• Finance - Youri Kemp
• Financial Services, Trade & Industry & National Insurance - Arinthia Komolafe and Brenda Harris
• Environment & Housing - Candace Weatherford
• Education - Dr Leon Higgs
• Information & Technology - Samuel Strachan
• Youth & Sports - Gerrino Saunders
• Culture - Emily Williams and Celi Moss
• Small Business Development & Innovation - Lincoln Bain and Claire Basden
• Labour - Leslie Lightbourne
• Public Service - Ruth Flowers
• Transport & Aviation - Buscheme Armbrister and Randy Butler
• Tourism - Cindy Knowles and Stephanie Lightbourne
• Agriculture & Fisheries - Kendal Smith and Derek Smith
• Health - Madeline Sawyer
• Local government - Rudolph Dean
• Grand Bahama - Nevar Smith
• Social Services, Family & Gender Affairs - Prodesta Moore and Charlis Robins