DNA Leader Branville McCartney.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
BRANVILLE McCartney will officially step down as leader of the Democratic National Alliance on October 24th. “I am not good for the party,” he told The Tribune on Friday.
Though the decision to resign is a "difficult one," he would not rule out a future return to frontline politics, saying: "Never say never”.
DNA's Deputy Leader Christopher Mortimer will become the party's interim leader and a new deputy leader will be elected at the special October 24th meeting.
The DNA won fewer votes in the May 10th general election than it did in 2012, a fact that weighed on Mr McCartney. He believes the election results were as much an outright rejection of the DNA under his leadership as it was a simple reflection of the powerful two-party dynamics in the country that gives little space to third parties.
"No doubt dynamics of the two party system is very strong and alive," he said. "When we did our report, (pollsters) came back and said people just want to get rid of the PLP. Well, the bottom line is they wanted to get rid of the FNM in the previous election and they brought back the PLP; now they wanted to get rid of the PLP, but they went back to the FNM. I have a difficulty with that scenario in its entirety because if they really wanted to get rid of the PLP the DNA should have gotten some more votes. In this last election the PLP got more than 50,000 thousand votes and became the Official Opposition. Although they didn't get a lot of seats, they still have a significant base."
Mr McCartney believes his critics in rival parties succeeded in turning Bahamians against him.
"Other parties have done a good job politically of giving the impression that I’m someone I'm not," he said, "arrogant, self-centred, power-hungry. Obviously that is the minds of Bahamians and a lot of that had to do with the party not succeeding in my mind. It's a difficult position to take, but it's a necessary one."
"At this stage, there has been a rejection of me as leader of the DNA. I have to accept that. I think leading the party, I don't think would be good at this stage in light of the recent election."
Mr McCartney said he won't take any formal role in the DNA, but will take "a backseat in the party."
"I would assume the leader of the party will take on more of that visible role but I'm always here to comment and speak on and hopefully offer whatever assistance necessary for the betterment of the country. I want to see a good country and our Bahamian people safe and successful and prosperous."
On re-entering frontline politics in the future, he said: "Never say never. We've seen why people should never say never but at this stage I'm taking a backseat. I've been the leader of the party for the past two elections. I've not been successful in the sense of a victory. We lost more ground, or more support in this election and as a leader the buck stops with me and I take full responsibility. I've done what I can at this stage and I have no doubt that Chris Mortimer will move the party further."
"Of course this is a difficult decision," he said of the personal impact of his resignation. "It's very difficult. It's not a decision I thought I would be making but I think the results of the election dictates that this was the right thing to do."
In 2010, Mr McCartney resigned as State Minister of Immigration in the Ingraham Administration, saying that the "current political system (was) headed in the wrong direction."
In March 2011 he resigned from the FNM and took steps to form the DNA.
The DNA received more than 13,000 votes in the 2012 election. This year the party received 7,537 votes.