Centreville MP Reece Chipman speaking at his constituency office on Thursday. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE chairman of the Free National Movement Centreville constituency association criticised Reece Chipman for leaving the party yesterday, saying in a statement that the MP made no meaningful effort to engage the association and has betrayed the trust of constituents by abandoning the party.
Juan Cartwright made similar comments in an article The Tribune published last week.
He said in his two years as chairman of the association, he never had a substantive conversation with Mr Chipman about the needs of Centreville residents or the association’s business.
“Since his election, Mr Chipman has seemed more preoccupied with his political career than the advancement of the people of Centreville,” he said. “It is clear he made a decision some time ago not to be part of the FNM’s effort to bring better governance to the Bahamas and to improve the lives of the people of Centreville.
Top FNM officials have shied away from forcefully reacting to the resignation of Mr Chipman, who attacked the government’s Hurricane Dorian preparations and recovery efforts while insisting elected officials are disconnected from the public.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis told reporters on the sidelines of an event honouring this year’s national honour award recipients that while Mr Chipman “has his own reasons for resigning,” he is focused on rebuilding the Bahamas. He said the party has addressed the resignation.
Mr Cartwright’s statement yesterday was released to the media from the FNM’s official communications team.
“The people of Centreville voted for FNM representation in the historic 2017 general election,” Mr Cartwright noted. “Mr Chipman would not have been elected to the House of Assembly if he were not under the FNM’s banner. His decision to leave violates the trust of the people of Centreville. Hurricane Dorian destroyed or devastated parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama. There were many deaths and several hundred people are still missing. The Minnis administration is doing its best to bring relief to the people of those islands. It is leading the largest international relief effort to a natural disaster in Bahamian history. It is unfortunate that in this time of national crisis Mr Chipman made an attention-seeking decision to resign from the FNM. This act of egotism is an attempt to take the national focus away from the relief and recovery effort in the northern islands.”