Pineridge MP Rev Frederick McAlpine.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Free National Movement’s Pineridge Constituency Association wants its Member of Parliament Frederick McAlpine to resign from the party, its chairman told The Tribune.
Mr McAlpine has been an outspoken critic of the Minnis administration and said last week he would not vote to support Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis in a vote of no-confidence the Official Opposition has pledged to bring to the House of Assembly. He said he would abstain instead.
Vernet Munnings, Pineridge Association chairperson, said: “He definitely should resign. That would be in the best interest of the people of the constituency. We don’t think he would be offered the nomination again. In the House of Assembly, all you hear from him is bashing of the party. Would you expect for people to want that person to represent them? I don’t think so. I have no idea what he is holding out for now. He needs to decide what he wants because right now we don’t understand it and he doesn’t understand it.”
Earlier this year the Pineridge Constituency Association moved to remove its executives, a group of people said to be mostly loyal to the MP. The association held new elections last month and Ms Munnings was among those elected.
“We don’t hear or see anything from the member of Parliament,” she said. “Only time we hear from him is when someone call and tell us he’s on social media. As it stands now, it’s as if we don’t have an MP.”
FNM Chairman Carl Culmer said the party has not received a formal request from the Pineridge Constituency Association to remove Mr McAlpine from the FNM.
“Until the association comes to the party, there’s nothing we can do,” he said. “He’s the MP for the area and until we or he makes a move there’s nothing that we can do. Like any other complaint, we would have to take it to the executive body of the party who would then investigate the complaint and then it would go to the council for their decision.”
Mr McAlpine defended his performance in the constituency yesterday, citing his works, including recently giving money to students who received the highest GPAs at Sir Jack Hayward, St Georges and Tabernacle Baptist schools.
“At first they said I was too involved in the association and now they’re complaining even though I’m allowing them to do what they choose to do,” he said. “I am representing the people of Pineridge, not a group of people that may have a special interest or ulterior motive. My responsibility is to the people of Pineridge and the people of Pineridge are not only FNMs. They are PLPs, DNAs and independents. My concern is not about a small group of people who wish to manipulate the representative at their will and fancy. I will continue to speak out and speak up on behalf of the good and gracious people of Pineridge and I will make my decision when it comes to the party along with the people of Pineridge when necessary.”