Andre Rollins speaks in the House of Assembly.
By SANCHESKA DORSETT
Tribune Staff Reporter
FORT Charlotte MP Dr Andre Rollins said yesterday he is prepared to swim in his “own vomit” to order “to get back with” the Free National Movement (FNM) to ensure that the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) does not win the upcoming general election.
While making his contribution in the House of Assembly last night, Dr Rollins said despite all that has happened, he is an FNM and his main objective is to make sure the party, led by Dr Hubert Minnis, becomes the next government of The Bahamas.
Dr Rollins’ statements contradicted comments he made in December, when he said Dr Minnis “would be an absolute failure as Prime Minister”.
The Fort Charlotte MP was among seven FNM members of Parliament who submitted a letter of no confidence in Dr Minnis last year, forcing the Killarney MP to be removed as Official Opposition Leader in the House of Assembly. The “rebel” MPs voted to have Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner replace Dr Minnis.
Since that move, Dr Rollins has said repeatedly criticised Dr Minnis and his leadership abilities. He has also said he would “not seek re-election” under a Dr Minnis-led FNM.
However, while debating the draft order of the Constituencies Commission’s boundaries report in Parliament yesterday, Dr Rollins said he is willing to do what it takes to return to the FNM.
A disciplinary tribunal has been convened to look into the MPs’ actions and Dr Minnis asked the members to resign from the party after their coup.
“The member for Killarney may not be the leader of the Opposition but he is still the leader of the FNM and I would say this: it is said in the past that Mr Perry Christie, the right honourable member for Centreville, was prepared to swim in his vomit to return to the PLP,” Dr Rollins said. “Well, I will tell you this for the record right now: I would never swim in any vomit but if I have to get back in the FNM and run in the next election to make sure that the PLP has no chance, no chance whatsoever of regaining power, let me tell you something, that is something I would be prepared to do,” Dr Rollins said.
“I am FNM. Having said that, if I go anywhere I want the member for Montagu to go with me. I want the member of Central Grand Bahama to go with me. I want the member for North Eleuthera to go with me. I want the member of St Anne’s to go with me and I want the member for South Abaco to go with me.”
Rising on a point of order, Edison Key, member of Parliament for South Abaco, said he “appreciated” Dr Rollins’ comments but said he “would not be going back to the FNM with the present leader”.
Meanwhile, Dr Rollins said he believes if all the opposition members put their egos aside, the “FNM will have the ability to put this country on the right path.”
“My objective is to make sure in this next election the FNM becomes the next government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas,” Dr Rollins said.
“I believe with the right team in place we can in fact have the ability to live up to the potential that we have and to set this country on the right path. Because at this moment, for the past five years we have been going down the wrong path under this PLP administration ... We will have to do what we have to do even if it means that persons who are not necessarily in love with each other. We will set aside these differences because we love this country more than we love each other.
“The Bahamian people are demanding that we focus on what is right and what is in their interest and they want us not to focus on our own personal ego and that is why, if I have to, I will do all that I can to be an effective part of this next electoral campaign.”
Speaking as a guest on 103.5 FM’s Freedom March hosted by Rodney Moncur in December, Dr Rollins said while Dr Minnis may seem like a “nice guy,” his one-time political ally is deceptive and a danger to an already struggling country.
“Dr Minnis may be a nice guy, somebody who people might think is (upstanding),” Dr Rollins said last year. “I believe that the danger is that Dr Minnis doesn’t have what it takes to lead this country by evidence of what we have seen thus far with the Free National Movement. Dr Minnis doesn’t give me any confidence that he has what it takes.
“I believe Dr Minnis would be an absolute failure as Prime Minister. He would be an utter failure if put in position to be Prime Minister, as he has been an utter failure as leader of Opposition.”