The strong platform given to Dr. Hubert Minnis during the recent Free National Movement Convention puts him in a most powerful position, well, at least for the present.
Demonstrating overwhelming support, during convention, FNMs bolstered his career and leadership position in the party to the extent whereby Dr. Minnis should be able to defend against attacks and objections to whatever proposals he makes.
Right, now Dr. Minnis is the unquestioned leader and he has within his support base, those who have demonstrated the willingness and the capacity to go to battle for him.
One supporter said that this would only continue to be the case, as long as he functions in the manner that deserves the devotion. The Freeport News source further said, Dr. Minnis has to keep his supporters enthusiastic and comfortable. It seems he has started in that regard, on the good foot.
There was a meeting that covered several hours on Friday. Dr. Minnis accommodated, The Freeport News was told, his erst while opponent Loretta Butler-Turner and Dr. Duane Sands who had campaigned with her, in talks about the future of the party and roles they wish to be allowed to play.
The understanding is that Dr. Minnis rejected the request to encourage the resignations of Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest and Chairman Sidney Collie. The proposal reportedly made to the FNM leader was for Dr. Sands to replace Turnquest, Alvin Smith to move into the chairman’s position; and for the six FNM parliamentarians who had publicly opposed Dr. Minnis to be ratified at convention, and announced by him.
The request seemed too absurd to be true. Later though, rumors surfaced and information reached The Freeport News, indicating that a deal was in fact sought by the two who had dropped out of the elections. A full rejection by Dr. Minnis of any such proposal, no doubt is in line with the thinking of his supporters.
The Freeport News contacted Dr. Minnis and he gave thanks to those who bestowed confidence in his leadership.
“I will be forever grateful to those who supported me and continue to do so. I intend to make every effort to justify their trust in me. It was a humbling feeling, experiencing the fantastic support I was given. But, we have a long way to go. The battle is not over. We have a lot of work to do,” he said.
About Butler-Turner and Dr. Sands, Dr. Minnis would only say that he expressed his intent during his address to embrace them if they feel inclined to work with him in leading the FNM to victory.
“There is a lot to be done. One hurdle is over and I will begin immediately to have meetings to get the party into prime battle form,” said Dr. Minnis.
His leadership of the FNM was re-established when Butler-Turner and Dr. Sands early Friday morning, reached the decision to not contest the two top executive positions in the party.
Butler-Turner is a first-term member of parliament for the long Island Constituency. She lost a leadership fight to Dr. Minnis at a mini FNM Convention on November 21, 2014.
Dr. Duane Sands is still officially in the Senate, but he had indicated that failure to win the deputy leader position would lead to his resignation. Up to press time, he had not officially resigned. Dr. Sands was previously defeated in party elections for the chairmanship. He also lost in the last general elections and in a previous by-election in the Elizabeth Estates Constituency.
Dr. Minnis informed the The Freeport News that the next public item on his agenda might be a rally this coming Thursday in New Providence.
Published Tuesday, August 2, 2016