Loretta Butler-Turner with Branville McCartney.
By SANCHESKA DORSETT
Tribune Staff Reporter
DEMOCRATIC National Alliance Leader Branville McCartney said yesterday he was “unaware” of any coalition between his party and Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Tuner or the six other “rebel” Free National Movement members of Parliament.
In an interview with The Tribune, Mr McCartney said “there is no plan at this stage” to form a coalition between the two groups.
On Wednesday, in an interview on Hot 91.7 FM’s “Morning Madhouse” with host “C-Note”, Mrs Butler-Turner announced that she is forming a “very powerful and bold” coalition with Mr McCartney and the DNA that will “change the direction of the country.”
The Official Opposition leader also said the details of the “interesting” coalition would be announced “very soon”.
When contacted for a response yesterday, Mr McCartney said: “There is no plan to absorb anyone in the DNA. There is no plan at this stage, that I am aware of, for a coalition.
“The only conversation we had was about my becoming a senator. Right now the DNA is waiting for this election and how we will form the next government. With regard to the fantastic seven or the rebel seven, they are still with the FNM. They are still members of the Free National Movement.”
“The DNA is not with the FNM, we are completely different. So at this point there is no arrangement, there is no plan.”
Mr McCartney reiterated previous comments from DNA Deputy Leader Chris Mortimer, saying if anyone wants to become members of the DNA or a candidate there is a procedure that must be followed.
“We welcome anyone who is like minded to come to the DNA. Even me, I have to go and apply and go through the Candidates Committee and it has to be an unanimous decision,” Mr McCartney said.
“We are releasing another 11 candidates that have gone through the process and none of them are the rebel seven. Like I said, I am not aware of the coalition. Mrs Butler-Turner appointed me to lead the Senate and the discussion we had were in relation to being an effective opposition force and to get the PLP out of office. I have no difficulties with a coalition but we did not speak about one.”
On Wednesday, Mr Mortimer also told reporters the DNA had no plans to absorb the “rebel” seven, but said if they wished to run on the party’s ticket they had to go through the party’s Candidates Committee.
Last month, after ousting FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis as leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament and obtaining the position, Mrs Butler-Turner appointed Mr McCartney as leader of opposition business in the Senate.
At the time Mrs Butler-Turner said the move was evidence that her team was willing to put the Bahamian people first to move forward to defeat the governing Progressive Liberal Party.
Announcing the decision at the time, she insisted that she and the six FNM MPs who support her have not joined the DNA, but were working together for a “common good.”
Mrs Butler-Turner has had her nomination for Long Island revoked from the FNM as a result of her actions. She has indicated she has no plans to abandon the constituency, but has not said if she will run independent or with another party.
She along with the six other “rebel” MPs face expulsion, suspension or a fine from the party.