By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
FORMER Minister of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction Iram Lewis, the member of Parliament for Central Grand Bahama, announced yesterday that he is running for leader of the Free National Movement.
Mr Lewis is the first person to publicly declare his intention to seek the FNM’s leadership role. A press release from his campaign said “it’s time for a change”.
The FNM will hold a one-day convention to settle the leadership issue on November 27.
The campaign press release said: “Some 50 years ago a proud political movement, the Free National Movement, was established at Jimmy Shepherd’s house on Spring Hills Farms in Fox Hill on October 20, 1971. The ‘Dissident Eight’ led by Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield and proud Free Fighters, established a movement whose philosophy is based fundamentally on transparency, good governance, equality, a belief in our youth and a strong belief in democratic principles.
“Today, we value Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield, Kendal G L Isaacs, Hubert Ingraham, Tommy Turnquest and Hubert Minnis; also John Henry Bostwick. We salute every Freedom Fighter who stood firm notwithstanding the victimisation and persecution for daring to be called FNMs, who were bolded through those early and sometimes very painful, but hopeful days.
“Today, we have a new cadre of Freedom Fighters who believe in our foundational philosophy. Today, we have many FNMs throughout our beautiful archipelago that yearn for recommitment to that philosophy. They desire for a more inclusive, re-engineered, revamped (party) and to be reconnected to our political movement that values all people. The decision of so many FNMs to decide to not vote for us on September 16, in spite of our productivity, sends a clear and powerful message to our organisation.”
The statement said Mr Lewis believes he is the best option for leader, citing his “style of being a servant leader, willingness to listen” and willingness to include dissenting opinions.
Yesterday, Mr Lewis told reporters he believes he has support within the party for his leadership bid.