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Eleuthera delegate backing for Minnis over Butler-Turner

FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis and Loretta Butler-Turner at the FNM rally that saw him see off her challenge to his leadership in 2014.

FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis and Loretta Butler-Turner at the FNM rally that saw him see off her challenge to his leadership in 2014.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

A Free National Movement insider said he recently polled Eleuthera’s delegates and found that all seven said they would support Killarney MP Dr Hubert Minnis over Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner in a leadership battle.

But he said at least four of the seven delegates said they would vote for former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham if he were to return and challenge for the party’s leadership.

The member, who spoke to The Tribune on the condition of anonymity, can’t vote in next month’s convention because the party’s constituencies have not held party elections at which hundreds of new delegates, including potentially himself, could be elected.

The lack of such elections being held, seen as Dr Minnis’ doing, is a frustration for some in the FNM’s grassroots.

Moreover, the supporter’s concerns about whether the country is ready for a female leader have been reflected by many Bahamians as the FNM’s July convention gets closer.

“Most of the party’s delegates are older men,” he said, “and for them it’s about pride. They don’t want a female prime minister.”

Although he said he would support Mrs Butler-Turner if he could, he expressed concern with the Long Island MP’s dance around the question of whether she will challenge Dr Minnis next month.

Although she indirectly confirmed to The Tribune two weeks ago that she would run for leader, over the weekend she was tightlipped on the issue when asked by the host of Guardian Radio’s ‘Q & A: The Political Week in Review’.

“I never said I haven’t made up my mind,” she said as a call in guest on the show on Sunday. “I said I have not yet made a formal announcement.”

“Why is she so silent?” the FNM member from Eleuthera asked yesterday. “It’s strange. How does she expect to excite people and unify her supporters?”

Another FNM member, a delegate, told The Tribune she favours no particular person for leadership of the party but would vote for “anyone besides Dr Hubert Minnis.”

“He doesn’t care about the inner cities,” the delegate, who did not want to be named, said. “All this man does is cry about ‘they hit me, they didn’t defend me.’”

“I was one of his biggest supporters in 2014. I knew he was not a political leader but I wanted to give him an opportunity to grow, to learn, to unite the party. Over the years, he has not done any of it but divide and conquer.”

It is expected that defeating Dr Minnis and Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest will be difficult.

Some have said only an endorsement by Mr Ingraham of the Butler-Sands ticket could turn the tide in their direction.

But Mr Ingraham has been evasive about whether he will endorse a team in the leadership race or return to front-line politics.

“Why didn’t he tell the Guardian he’s retired and won’t come back?” the FNM member from Eleuthera asked, referring to Mr Ingraham’s non-definitive response to a question last week about whether he’s making a comeback.

“I know his mind is already made up but maybe he’s putting the pieces together,” he said.

Mr Ingraham resigned as party leader and North Abaco MP shortly after the FNM lost the 2012 general election.

Comments

Economist 8 years ago

And how many of those delegates are in their 20's, 30's or even 40's????

DillyTree 8 years ago

These anonymous polls don't really mean much -- just more stirring of the pot. Will all the out island delegates be included this time, or just the ones that support Minnis? Who will pay for the delegates to come to Nassau for the convention? Who are all the delegates, and what are their qualifications? Do they represent voices within their own communities, or have they been otherwise influenced for their support? Is there a public listing of all the delegates? So many damn questions and so few answers.

licks2 8 years ago

No. . .these are many trivial nit picking questions. . .if these same questions were put to most of our politicians none of them can qualify. . .so why the third degree for mostly high school level educated folks in the mean. And as for who will pay for them to come to Nassau. . .how that got your business. . .I thought yall anti-doc people were not giving any of yinna money. . .so keep ya nose out of the business of those who are giving. Just sit back and hold on to something sturdy. . .THIS RIDE WILL BE ROUGH I AM TOLD BY ONE LIL RED BIRDIE! Lol!

John 8 years ago

No Island in the Bahamas has suffered more under the PLP than Eleuthera, South Eleuthera especially. More than two years ago the prime minister took a very large entourage to South Eleuthera, with huge promises, help hope and economic relief. Today nothing has happened. In fact the silence is deafening. there are no boots on the ground and no showels in the soil. Only thru their own ambitions and the fact that they have been in survivor ship mode for so long, since the 1960's and many are able to make ends meet. Many younger residents have moved to New Providence and other islands and even the Us to seek a living and so they are able to help support their families back in Eleuthera. So this is a time they need to pull together and get this party right! From the leadership down.

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