NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Free National Movement is expected to hold a convention later on this year, but it will likely be a non-voting event in which the party’s executive positions will not be open for challenge, according to Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Carl Culmer.
Speaking to Eyewitness News Online, Culmer suggested some broad dates have been eyed, but the timeframe has yet to be narrowed to a specific date.
“We will have a convention, but I am going to leave that to the appropriate persons to announce that date and time,” he said.
“There will be a convention, but not that type of convention (voting).
“There will be a convention coming soon.
“I know you probably saw there will be a youth convention this year coming soon.
“The program is out.
“We are looking at the youth. As you realize, we had a youth convention before we had a national convention, so that will be coming soon.”
The Torchbearers Association convention is scheduled for August 2019 at the Melia Nassau Beach hotel.
When asked when the party plans to hold a full-fledged convention with executive positions, including the leadership open to challenge, Culmer said he could not speak to that at this time.
He said, “I’ll leave that for the appropriate persons to speak to that.
“Anything is possible and anything can happen.
“We will soon make some announcement.”
The last voting convention, a contentious event that saw deep divides exposed within the party, was held in July 2016.
Former Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner and Dr. Duane Sands, the now minister of health, challenged then Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis, the now prime minister, and Peter Turnquest, the now deputy prime minister and minister of finance, for the top two leadership posts.
However, Butler-Turner and Sands withdrew from the leadership race the night before the vote, citing concerns with the internal process of the vote.
It was the second attempt in two years for the Long Island MP to capture the leadership position of the FNM.
Meanwhile, the Progressive Liberal Party was expected to hold a national convention in November 2018, but pushed the date to May 2019.
Sources said the delay was the result of challenges raising capital to hold the convention.
Last month, PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis said the convention could be postponed again as the hotel eyed for the event could not accommodate the anticipated dates.
During an April 2 press conference Davis said, “The committee is working. We hope to have a convention and we are waiting the report from the committee, but we will have a convention.”
Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin, who challenged Davis and lost at the PLP’s October 2017 convention, has said she will not make another challenge at the upcoming convention.