FNM preparing full slate of election candidates

FNM preparing full slate of election candidates
The official logo of the Free National Movement (FNM).

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — As the Free National Movement (FNM) determines remaining candidates for ratification in the coming weeks, it will privately inform incumbents who will not be nominated again before it makes public announcements, according to FNM Leader Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

In a statement issued yesterday, Minnis noted: “Last week, the Free National Movement ratified 17 candidates for the next general election. This group included six new candidates and 11 incumbents, a mix of experienced individuals and new energy and talent. We are committed to offering the best team possible for governance.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis delivers an address in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. (BIS PHOTO/KEMUEL STUBBS)

“Our party is well advanced in the process of evaluating potential candidates for the remaining constituencies.

“In the coming weeks, further ratification announcements will be made. These decisions are based on careful consultation and the need for ongoing renewal of the FNM.”

Minnis’ statement comes on the heels of House Speaker Halson Moultrie, the Nassau Village MP, resigning from the party just days after the FNM revealed the 17 candidates who have been ratified so far.

Moultrie’s resignation followed that of Centreville MP Reece Chipman and Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller, who resigned from the FNM in October 2019 and December 2019 respectively.

Shortly after Moultrie’s resignation, it was also revealed that East Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest — who resigned as deputy prime minister and minister of finance in November amid allegations of involvement in a “bogus” loan scheme — will not receive a nomination from the FNM to run on the party’s ticket in the next general election.

Minnis, in his statement, cautioned that some candidates who ran in the 2017 General Election will not be running again.

“The party is grateful for the service of all incumbents who are moving on. They have been instrumental in helping our administration advance policies to empower Bahamians,” he said.

“There will be much public speculation as decisions are made as to who will and who will not run. Out of respect and courtesy, our party will first privately inform those incumbents who will not be nominated again before we make public announcements.

“The FNM is a big-tent party. There are many pathways to service beyond frontline candidacy. It is our intention to draw on the expertise of some of our former candidates in various ways in the future should the people again give us their confidence as their government.

“We are preparing the best slate of candidates possible to offer the Bahamian people.”

He added: “When completed, our slate of candidates will be a diverse and dynamic group of people all Bahamians could have confidence in to continue governing the country with integrity, courage and vision.”

Among the 11 incumbents who have been ratified thus far are: Marathon MP Romauld “Romi” Ferreira, Free Town MP Dionisio D’Aguilar, Tall Pines MP Donald “Don” Saunders, South Beach MP Jeffrey “Jeff” Lloyd, Mt Moriah MP Marvin Dames, Bamboo Town MP Renward Wells, Yamacraw MP Elsworth Johnson, MICAL MP Miriam Emmanuel, Golden Gates MP Michael Foulkes, North Abaco MP Darren Henfield and Bains and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson.

St Anne’s MP Brent Symonette, who resigned as a Cabinet minister in July 2019, said at the time he would not seek reelection in 2022; and the FNM ratified Stephen Greenslade for the Garden Hills seat, which is currently held by Brensil Rolle.