FREE National Movement chairman Carl Culmer.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
FREE National Movement chairman Carl Culmer said the FNM has not authorised any parliamentarian to campaign for re-election but supports elected officials reaching out to their constituents.
Pictures and videos of FNM supporters traversing a neighbourhood in red t-shirts and talking to residents circulated on social media over the weekend, raising questions about whether the people were campaigning.
There were also reports of some MPs visiting homes over the weekend with supporters.
Some critics raised alarm, saying campaigning should not happen when New Providence continues to have a lot of COVID-19 cases.
“We’re not campaigning,” Mr Culmer said yesterday. “We are out there assisting our people wherever we can. We’ve been helping with financing and giving information to help people so they can maintain their standard of living. This pandemic is a serious thing and this is worldwide so I would be very disappointed if the MPs fled from their constituents and left them defenseless.
“This is the time to reach out to the people who elected you to make sure their welfare is attended to. These guys doing what they were elected to do, represent the people.”
Mr Culmer noted the FNM supporters were wearing masks.
“The thing is how would you know who is in need in your community if you don’t go and see them? They’re not campaigning, they’re visiting their constituents.”
Asked about the FNM paraphernalia, usually worn when campaigning or engaging in party activities, Mr Culmer said: “The PLP and DNA wear their colours when they go out, hey? “Persons must identify who they are, hey? When I was in the constituency as an officer, every time I went out I wore my red shirt to say, ‘hey I was an FNM.’
“At the end of the day you can’t tell an MP how to go out there and look at his constituents. The FNM supports MPs going out there and helping their constituents and finding out what the views are and how best to assist them. We have not authorised anyone to go out there and campaign.
“From we won in 2017 our mantra was to tell our MPs to stay with the people and represent them to the best of their ability. If MPs do what they’re supposed to do there will be no need to campaign.”