The Ba­hamas’ Op­po­si­tion Leader Fac­ing Party Re­volt

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

The days of Dr. Hu­bert Min­nis lead­ing the Op­po­si­tion in The Ba­hamas ap­pear to be num­bered as po­lit­i­cal wran­gling in his party, the Free Na­tional Move­ment (FNM), comes to a head.

In an un­ex­pected move, seven mem­bers of the FNM have dis­patched a let­ter to Gover­nor Gen­eral Dame Mar­guerite Pin­dling ask­ing for the re­moval of Min­nis as the of­fi­cial leader of the Op­po­si­tion. The group is now throw­ing its sup­port be­hind Long Is­land MP Loretta But­ler-Turner to take over the post.

The rev­e­la­tion, which shocked Dr Min­nis, was made in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day as House Speaker Dr Ken­dal Ma­jor read the let­ter dated De­cem­ber 7, 2016.

The dis­grun­tled FNM mem­bers told the Head of State in their let­ter that, like a Prime Min­is­ter, an Op­po­si­tion Leader must en­joy the con­fi­dence of his or her col­leagues in the House of Assem­bly.

“That be­ing the case, we re­spect­fully ask you to re­voke the ap­point­ment of Dr Hu­bert Min­nis as leader of the op­po­si­tion in ac­cor­dance with Article 82 (4) of our Con­sti­tu­tion,” the let­ter stated. The group added that The Ba­hamas needs an ef­fec­tive and du­ti­ful op­po­si­tion that will work to de­velop a clear vi­sion for the fu­ture, and urged the Gover­nor Gen­eral to ac­cept their rec­om­men­da­tion for a new leader.

“…In the in­ter­est of en­sur­ing a seam­less tran­si­tion, our cau­cus has also voted to un­der­take its work in Par­lia­ment un­der the lead­er­ship of Loretta But­ler-Turner.”

A stunned Min­nis took to the floor im­me­di­ately after the let­ter was read.

He de­scribed the devel­op­ment as “a sub­ver­sion of democ­racy”, charg­ing that it all stemmed from his vic­tory in the party’s in­ter­nal elec­tions at its an­nual con­ven­tion back in July.

“These – as I would call them – rebels do not believe in democ­racy and have con­tin­ued to sub­vert the process of democ­racy.”

Min­nis, who ad­mit­ted that he was sad­dened by the move was, how­ever, adamant that democ­racy would pre­vail. “The Ba­hamian peo­ple will con­tinue to fight for democ­racy. They will not al­low sub­ver­sion to oc­cur, nor will their democ­racy to be played with,” he said.

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