Nominations at the Free National Movement’s (FNM) national convention closed with few surprises yesterday.
However, the chairmanship race will also be one to watch as former House of Assembly Speaker Alvin Smith will go up against current FNM Chairman Sidney Collie for that post.
Droves of FNMs, many of whom were delegates, crowded the foyer of the Meliá Nassau Beach resort ballroom around 3 p.m.
Those wearing “Roc Wit Doc” apparel appeared to dominate the crowd, but there were many donning shirts in support of Butler-Turner and Sands — “Loretta & Sands: Bring The Bahamas Forward, Together”.
While the three-day event will bring to a head months of tension, the tone yesterday was jovial on the surface.
Butler-Turner will challenge FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis for the top post.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson and North Eleuthera MP Theo Neilly nominated Butler-Turner, while J.M. Pinder, and Elva Russell Rolle nominated Minnis.
Minnis said he will go into convention as leader and emerge the same.
The position of deputy leader will also be race of two — FNM Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest and Senator Dr. Duane Sands.
Stephanie Ferguson and Oswald Marshall, a prominent FNM, nominated Turnquest.
Sands was nominated by Kim Wendy Bodie and St. Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman.
Juamanne Dorsett and Shonell Ferguson put Collie’s name forward.
Butler-Turner nominated the former House speaker.
FNM Secretary General Michael Foulkes will run unopposed for the post he occupies.
Speaking to The Nassau Guardian following nominations, Collie said, “Alvin Smith is a worthy competitor. I didn’t see that coming. I actually expected Michael Pintard, but I think that’s a last-minute move.
“But he is a former member of Parliament and a former Speaker and a colleague, so he is a worthy competitor. I have no doubt I will be reelected.”
Leading up to the convention there was widespread speculation that former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham’s name would be put into the fray.
But his name was not put forward.
A letter Ingraham sent to FNM Chairman Sidney Collie on Monday put the matter to rest.
He said he would declined any nomination for any position and fully intends to “remain retired”.
FNM Treasurer Jeffrey Stuart was nominated for that post.
Dwight Smith will challenge him for the position.
Stuart was nominated by prominent FNMs Anthony Woodside and Jeffrey Williams, an executive council member.
Watson and former FNM parliamentarian C.A. Smith nominated Dwight Smith.