By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
THE Free National Movement’s one-day convention on November 27 to select its new leader is an “expensive” undertaking and will cost the party an estimated $100,000.
Treasurer Dwight Sawyer said all of the costs associated with the event were absorbed by the party.
He was asked by The Tribune to reveal the expense as the party announced it officially closed nominations for leader of the party yesterday at 5.01pm.
Michael Pintard, Kwasi Thompson and Iram Lewis are the only candidates on the register contesting the leadership position.
“The cost of a convention has always been very expensive and the party has decided that it will take and undergo the entire cost of the convention,” Mr Smith said.
“For this convention we put a budget together of slightly under about $100,000.
“This will include airfare travel for all of the delegates coming from the Family Islands, room and board, ground transportation and all of the expenses associated with having a one-day convention.”
The party also addressed speculation that whoever wins the post of leader next week would be acting in the interim until the organisation held its main convention in February.
To this, Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest said the post would not be up for grabs next year.
Mr Turnquest said: “No. The council has authorised for the leadership convention at the end of the month and the convention that will be held in February, will be for all other officers from deputy leader straight on down. “
He said the party’s constitution called for a convention every two years at which time the party would go through choosing a leader and officers again.
The party is also confident that choosing a new leader is what the party needs to unite supporters.
“When you get into an election for leader or any other position of the party you are always going to have different views and supporters of different leaders come forward,” Mr Turnquest said.
“That is a part of the democratic process. So this is no different.
“We expect fully that all the persons who are vying for the position of leader will rally behind whoever is successful on the 27th and that person will give all of their attention towards unifying the party bringing all of the various elements together, healing from whatever differences there may be and learning from that period as a unified cohesive body focused on regaining the government and providing the Bahamian people with a viable alternative to the existing regime,” Mr Turnquest said.