By Dr. Hubert Minnis
Leader of the Opposition
(Statement) The Free National Movement has a rich history in pursuing democratic ideals. In fact our organization was born out of a deep desire to have accountability and transparency in governance. Our founding fathers had a deep tolerance for diverging points of views. Our divergence has been a blessing and not a curse.
Democracy is Alive and Well in The FNM
Our historical commitment to democratic principles motivated the Ingraham led administration to liberate the airways so that Bahamians could speak freely. Furthermore, the FNM delivered power to the people through the introduction of local government. We also created numerous “Authorities” that enabled persons, not just Party loyalists and elected officials, to participate in governing aspects of our national life.
Throughout our history we have had some spirited, vibrant and dynamic internal and public debates but because our overarching concern was delivering the Bahamian people from bad governance and a brand of politics that placed self-interest above country, we rallied together! We did what was best for our people even when it was challenging and difficult for us individually. I’m confident that this spirit still resides in our team at this critical juncture in our history.
The FNM’s Focus
Let me assure the Bahamian people and our thousands of supporters that the challenges you face are at the center of our considerations daily. Each of you fuels the work we do daily. There is no difference of opinion that will cause us to lose sight of what is at stake. The FNM is diligently at work constructing and sharing our plan of action to reduce crime and the fear of crime; growing our economy and reducing unemployment; strengthening our borders and humanely and lawfully enforcing our immigration laws; transforming our educational system to produce a world-class workforce; and fashioning a healthcare system that addresses in a cost-effective way the needs of our people especially the most vulnerable.
These Temporary Family Exchanges Will Pass
The personal comments of several of my colleagues would have better served our cause had they been shared internally where every one of them without exception have an opportunity to do so with the full protection of the Chairman and organs of the Party. After all, it is inside the privacy of our family tent that the results sought can be fairly pursued and not in the public domain. Constant public debates about family matters assist the governing Party and others who wish for us to stumble and fumble away a rare opportunity to lead this great country that is in need of change.
For the record let me briefly address several matters that have arisen so that the public would know what the Party’s position is on these matters:
1. The FNM does not endorse the public analysis or criticisms (including those that imputed motives) of our Members of Parliament, Senators and Senior Party Members in ways that can cause reputational damage or cause loss of support for them and by extension the FNM. Each such instance where this has occurred was unfortunate and unhelpful to the mission (providing a caring and competent government) we are on. Our energies are best directed dissecting this ineffective PLP led administration.
2. We value each Member of Parliament, Senator, Officer and Member of our Organization and wish for each of you to know that we care about your welfare and involvement even when we see things differently. For those that have left our Organization, please know that our doors remain open and the fatted calf is available to help us rejoice upon your return.
3. There are no irreconcilable differences that the FNM family members face, and it is my hope and prayer that this will become very clear to those who wish to see this PLP led government gone.
Rest assured that, daily we have and will work harder to lower the temperature of the spirited debates in our Organization so that the near certain victory that is within our grasp is not lost. We will work in tandem to create a New and Better Bahamas with the help of the almighty God.