NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Free National Movement (FNM) yesterday ratified 17 candidates, including four political newcomers and two senators, for the next general election.
Those vying for representation in the House of Assembly include Adrian White for St Anne’s, the seat held by Brent Symonette; Brian Brown for Golden Isles; Stephen Greenslade for Garden Hills, the seat currently held by Brensil Rolle; and Kenneth “Ken” Smith for Mangrove Cay and South Andros.
When contacted, Rolle, the minister of public service and national insurance, did not comment on the ratification.
Symonette, who resigned as a Cabinet minister in July 2019, said at the time he would not seek reelection in 2022.
Senators Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson will vie for the Exumas and Ragged Island seat and Felicia Knowles for Rum Cay, Cat Island and San Salvador.
The pair will challenge the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) Chester Cooper and Brave Davis for both seats.
The FNM ratified 11 incumbents.
These included Marathon MP Romauld “Romi” Ferreira, Free Town MP Dionisio D’Aguilar, Tall Pines MP Donald “Don” Saunders, South Beach MP Jeffrey “Jeff” Lloyd, Mount 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.
In a statement, FNM Chairman Carl Culmer said the candidates were ratified with “exuberant consensus” following a special call meeting on the Central Council on Monday.
“The democratic and engaging process followed the party’s constitution, which provides that the executive committee of the party be apprised of all applicants and thereafter advance its suggestions to the Central Council for consideration for ratification,” read a statement.
“The ratified group includes incumbent candidates and new entries to the party’s election ticket.
“All were ratified with exuberant consensus.
“All applicants were thanked for their commitment and dedication to the party, and their pledges to continue their support in assisting the ratified candidates in their respective constituencies.
“The party congratulates all those ratified.
“They take the party’s message forward as we continue our work for the Bahamian people in rebuilding our economy, tackling unemployment, encouraging entrepreneurship, developing our Family Islands and protecting our people from the deadly global pandemic of COVID-19.
“The group of newly ratified candidates has experience, youth, professionalism and gifted ability.”
Yesterday, the PLP also ratified 18 candidates, including 11 newcomers, for the next general election.
The official opposition has said it is preparing for an early election, though Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has repeatedly shut down early election claims.