Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis last night urged FNMs to put aside their differences and emerge from convention tomorrow “united and together”, though he has failed to address what would happen to FNM MPs who expressed a lack of confidence in his leadership and threatened to oust him as opposition leader.
Addressing a crowd at Arawak Cay, Minnis said the FNM cannot squander the opportunity to remove the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).
“You are only a day away,” Minnis told supporters.
“We can put an end to our differences, tomorrow.
“It is our time to come together, tomorrow.
“We will be that much closer to a new and better Bahamas tomorrow.
“Divided we fall, but we can stand strong tomorrow and stay together tomorrow.”
Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner, who was among the six MPs who pushed for an early convention, claimed that Minnis has said he will “deal with” the MPs when he is re-elected.
Butler-Turner and her running mate, Senator Dr. Duane Sands, will challenge Minnis and FNM Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest for the top two leadership posts.
Some senior FNMs have suggested that those MPs should not be given nominations.
Others, including former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, have said the opposite.
In a statement on Sunday, Ingraham also urged FNMs to unite.
“Following the outcome of the leadership election in the Free National Movement, it is essential that the leader and the party quickly move toward unity and stability,” Ingraham said.
“This is especially necessary with a general election due within a year.
“The best way to ensure stability and unity is through a spirit of collegiality and cooperation, which must be fostered and exemplified by the leader of the party.”
The convention will bring to a head months of tension within the FNM.
Last night, Minnis said, “Tonight, we gather for the last time before our national FNM convention.
“Bahamians everywhere are depending on the FNM to unite.
“In the next three days, we must emerge stronger and better than ever before.
“We must be one.
“Bahamians all over our country are tired of the incompetent PLP.”
Minnis said Bahamians are tired of broken promises.
He said the PLP continues to make promises as international rating agencies warn of further downgrades.
He charged that it is time to empower the people, their ideas and their future businesses.
Minnis said Prime Minister Perry Christie has been hearing voices whispering to him to stay on as leader of the PLP.
It was a shot at Christie’s recent statement on Kiss FM’s “Ed Fields Live” that if he stepped down as leader at this time the PLP would become unstable.
Christie also said he has been asked by young people of his government to stay on.
But the majority of the young and senior PLP politicians The Nassau Guardian has spoken with since the remark have said they have not asked Christie to stay on and disagreed that the PLP would be unstable if he left.
“Even his own people are telling him to stop listening to those voices only he can hear,” Minnis said.
“His own people are calling him delusional.
“You know what that means. They’re calling him crazy.
“FNMs listen to me very carefully. This election you have a choice.
“Do you want more corruption, more secret deals and political favors?
“I don’t know about you, but I can’t take another five years of this lazy… incompetent, arrogant and good for nothing PLP government.
“FNMs, right now we have an opportunity like never before.
“We cannot squander our chance for a better Bahamas.
“We must end the PLP… FNMs we must seize this moment.
“FNMs we must put aside our differences and emerge from our convention united and together.”