Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Sidney Collie said yesterday that he was “disturbed” by the divisive campaigns that have been carried out over the past few weeks insisting that the unification of the party is necessary to win the next general election.
Collie made those remarks while responding to the question of whether the party can come together after a divisive leadership campaign.
“I just want to say as national chairman, who has to present a balanced party view, I just want to say it has disturbed me greatly during the course of this campaign to witness the vitriol, the name calling, the public shaming and sometimes the absolute defamation of slander and libel,” Collie said.
He called for the relevant campaigns “to stop it” in an attempt to unify the party after the process is over.
Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner will challenge FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis for the top position in the party.
“… As a national chairman, I will remain above the fray. And I will constantly put out the call to fight hard [and] to fight clean. At the end of the process let’s unify and go forward,” Collie said while appearing on the Guardian Radio 96.9 FM talk show “Morning Blend” with host Dwight Strachan.
The FNM convention starts today and ends on Friday at the Melia Nassau Beach resort.
The convention will decide on the leadership team expected to carry the FNM into the next general election.
It will take place amid deep divisions in the FNM, which has been plagued by months of controversies.
Six of the party’s MPs have expressed a lack of confidence in Minnis.
Many political observers are not just eagerly awaiting the outcome of the leader and deputy leader races, but the aftermath of the convention.
The chairmanship of the FNM will also be up for grabs. Collie will run for re-election.
“I am contending. I have only been in the job for two months,” he said.
“You know I have been doing my job. I have not been campaigning. My position is if I do a good enough job and I do the job that I was put there [to do] I should be re-elected.”
He also explained how the process of nominating candidates and the election of party officers would work.
“Once all of the nominations are in and closed, then the committee charged with the election will have to print the ballots and the voting will take place on Friday,” Collie said.
“The voting will take place on Friday afternoon. And so when we go into the final session Friday night at 8 p.m. we should have the new officer core of the FNM.”
The nomination of candidates begins today.