Free National Movement (FNM) delegates were left wondering whether Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner and her running mate Dr. Duane Sands were ever equipped to take on the leadership of the party following their last-minute decision to abort their bids for the party’s leadership and deputy leadership races yesterday.
Sands made the confirmation to The Nassau Guardian around 2 a.m. Friday, just hours before voting was to begin.
They were going against FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis and FNM Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest.
As Butler-Turner and Sands confirmed the reports, delegates still toed a long line to cast their votes.
Stanley Minnis told The Nassau Guardian that Butler-Turner’s and Sands’ decision made it clear as to who the leader of the party is.
“They claimed they were ready for leadership and then they leave the people that were supporting them without even consulting with them and then just dropped them,” he said. “That’s a bad sign of leadership already, there.
“It shows that they weren’t even ready for the task that they claim that they were.
“How could you take a people out to a war and then leave them? It is simple. They were not equipped or ready for the leadership.”
Laverne Gardiner told The Guardian she was frustrated and curious as to what the party’s plan would be going forward.
“I just didn’t like the way it was done,” she said. “We have come through all this process.
“I think you are there. You should have finished your race and then you see the outcome of it.
“How could you concede in the middle of the convention? So what are we supposed to do now? You have conceded. You didn’t finish the race.
“So what are the delegates supposed to do after that? Somebody please tell me because I don’t know.
“I don’t know what the plan is now. I am waiting to hear like most of the delegates here to know what’s going on.”
Dr. Shawn Thurston, senior campaign manager for Peter Turnquest, said the exit was not only a bit too late, but showed lack of consideration for the convention.
“From the start of the convention, they saw the mood of the people, delegates themselves, and when you are looking from the general populous, the atmosphere was all in favor of Doc (Minnis) and Peter,” he told The Guardian. “So for them just deciding that ‘hey we are going to remove ourselves from the race at the ninth hour’, to me that was a disrespect for the convention itself.”
Many Butler-Turner and Sands supporters chose not to speak publically, but appeared to be disturbed by the new development.
Despite the tension in the halls of the Melia Nassau Beach Resort where the convention is taking place, there were some supporters like Theresa Moxey-Ingraham and former senator Lanisha Rolle, who remained optimistic that the party would be united.
“I think it’s unfortunate that our party in convention had to get to this stage of what I call a bit of a crisis,” said Moxey-Ingraham. “But I think that the Butler-Turner and Sands team, being the good FNMs that I know that they are, would have acted in the best interests of the unity of the party.
“I am hopeful that at the end of this day that all the factions would have come back together and we would have displayed the type of unity and the type of harmony that we managed to display in the past and come together to put together a serious fighting team.”
Rolle said she believes the party will be successful in carrying out its agenda to become the next government.
She said: “This is only a rehearsal. In a short while the public is going to see the real thing and that’s to get rid of the PLP.”