Letter Writer says opposition leader still trying to gain confidence from his party!
You must give it to opposition leader Dr. Minnis. In the fight of his political life to hold on to the leadership of his party, he is running from pillar to post criticizing and otherwise opposing everything the PLP government does. Lest we forget, that is his job.
Mr. Minnis, who was placed on an 18-month probation by his then chairman back in 2012, obviously did not satisfactorily complete this initial probation period, as entering 2014, members of his party were increasingly critical of what they perceived as his lacklustre performance and his inability to capture the imagination of his own party supporters, much less the Bahamian people. For some, it was as though he was out to lunch as he did not capitalize on perceived missteps of the PLP government.
Despite buyers’ remorse by many FNMs, in party elections held late last year, Mr. Minnis, in a crushing defeat of his then deputy, Mrs. Loretta Butler Turner, had his probationary period extended, albeit, some in his party said at the time, for a period of no more than 6 months. We are approaching the expiry of Mr. Minnis’s second probationary period. How is he doing?
No one can correctly say that since the arrival of 2015, Mr. Minnis hasn’t been giving it his all. And therein lies the problem. You see, on any number of issues, we are reaping what was sowed under previous governments.
Going into the 2012 general election, the party which Mr. Minnis now leads was the government for 15 of the previous 20 years. All to often, those opposed to the Christie-led PLP government, would have Bahamians believe that all the challenges The Bahamas now face, were birthed on or after the general elections of May 2012.
Let’s take the issue of BEC . Mr. Minnis and his party have been very careless in their choice of adjectives in railing against the government. It is already out there in the public domain that the previous government, of which Mr. Minnis was a major player, did not accept the recommendation of its technical people at BEC but rather went out on its own accord and purchased equipment that obviously wasn’t up to speed. Mr. Minnis was a part of this process, but don’t look to him to man up and take ownership is this indisputable fact, as to do so will not serve
his best political interest. I don’t want to repeat the details of the FNM cabinet’s ignoring the BEC board’s recommendations, as it has been widely reported in the media. But i must say how curious i am about how a handful of lawyers, a doctor, a few former ‘business’ people and other sundry persons, who probably couldn’t tell you the difference between a kilowatt and a megawatt, decided to ignore the recommendations of the technical experts and went out on their own, or did they!
The PLP government has promised us continous electricity service at a lower cost. To assist in achieving this, there has in the past been talk of splitting BEC (generation and distribution), privatizing the management, etc. It is my view that the delay in making a decision on BEC, never mind that Mr Christie has taken ownership of this delay, and in the absence of reasons that consumers can attach themselves to, does not serve the public good. Thus any criticism by Mr. Minnis and his team of this particular matter has been earned by the government.
What then will be the fate of Mr. Minnis going forward as leader of his party?
It is my view that Mr. Minnis’s dilemma has nothing to do with his performance and everything to do with his lack of charisma and adequate communication skills. There is no doubt that he is educated and intelligent. He is a medical doctor! But he has not been able to convince his own party that he has what it takes to rally people to himself. Fact is, a people must be sold on the leader first, before they buy into the vision.
Already, desperation has set in, with those who are opposed to Mr. Christie and the PLP, lowering their expectations and publicly suggesting that Mr. Minnis’s only hope is for Mr. Christie and the PLP to fail. Risky strategy i dare say, but with all the print media and a majority of the others opposed to the PLP relentlessly railing against them everyday, the FNM could believe that they have a shot with Dr. Minnis.
I do not believe the FNM have the luxury of having another leadership battle before the next general elections, but what do i know. I also believed that by now Dr. Andre Rollins would have been history in the PLP!