Dr. HUBERT ALEXANDER MINNIS Leader of the FNM speaks to the nation.
Dr. Minnis’ Statement Following Tonight’s FNM Central Council Meeting
Dr. Minnis, Leader of the Free National Movement (FNM), issued the following statement:
“Today seven members of the Parliamentary Group of the Free National Movement delivered a letter to the Governor General, Dame Marguerite Pindling, withdrawing their support for me as the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, and recommended the appointment of Mrs. Loretta Butler-Turner as Leader of the Opposition Members in Parliament. As a consequence of this, Mrs. Butler-Turner, if appointed by the Governor General, will, under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, have the responsibility for the conduct of Opposition Members in the House of Assembly. Let me be very clear that she is not and cannot as such be made leader of the Free National Movement. It is only the National Convention of the FNM or, in emergency circumstances, its Central Council that can elect the Leader of the Free National Movement.”
“By this action, the Free National Movement and The Bahamas as a whole were struck with a stunning usurpation of the very essence of the democratic right of a political organization to determine its Leadership. In my view, the actions of seven FNM Members of the House of Assembly – by invoking their privilege under the Constitution of The Bahamas to choose their Leader in the House of Assembly – is a direct affront to the democratic conventions and traditions of the Free National Movement. It is tradition that the Leader of the Party, if elected to the House of Assembly, has always been appointed Leader of the Opposition. Their action is a slap in the face of the Party, and a slap in the face of democracy!”
“In view of today’s events I, as the constitutionally elected Leader of the Free National Movement, wish to inform the Bahamian people that I now invite the seven MPs who were elected under the banner of the FNM, and who signed the letter to the Governor General, to do the Honourable thing and resign from the Free National Movement. Failing which, I have today recommended to the National Executive of the Party, and the Executive has unanimously voted in favour thereof, that the disciplinary provisions of Article 53 of the Constitution of the Free National Movement be invoked, and that if found to be required, a Disciplinary Tribunal be appointed and take whatever action it deems appropriate under the Constitution of the Free National Movement.”