The Bahamas’ Opposition Leader Facing Party Revolt
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.