Pineridge MP says more FNMs are silently dissatisfied with party
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine yesterday refuted suggestions he will be the next Free National Movement (FNM) MP to depart from the party.
He was responding to FNM Chairman Carl Culmer, who called him a “trojan horse” on a course to destroy the party from within before resigning.
On Thursday, Culmer said he expected McAlpine to follow the resignations of Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller and Centreville MP Reece Chipman.
Yesterday, McAlpine said he continues to fight for the party from within to become the government it promised the Bahamians people it would be.
“I read what the chairman had to say and my answer to that is that I simply have not told anybody that I left the FNM,” he said.
“I am still with the FNM. Quite frankly, I thought that at this time [concerning] the chairman, this is the best we can do? We can’t find nothing else to talk about rather than talk about a member of his party.”
McAlpine continued: “With all these things going on and all the ammunition that the opposition is throwing at them, he found it more significant to talk about me; rather to be concerned about the two members who left his party.
“I am still here. Perhaps Mr. Culmer should put his emphasis on addressing the many issues that the chairman of the PLP has thrown at our party as opposed to worrying about what I’m doing.”
McAlpine added: “Where was he when I was busy in the FNM, fighting for the FNM, publicly, not privately. [The FNM] has not fulfilled its mandate in being the party that it said it would be. I am simply trying to get them back on course to what they promised.”
While again warning the party that it has lost much of its political capital and the trust of the people, McAlpine said it should work to become the government it promised to be — transparent, accountable and for the people.
He said the FNM should misconstrue the silence of the people as contentment, but as a sign that their minds are made up of what they will do at the polls.
McAlpine maintained the policies of the Minnis administration, like: the increase in value-added tax (VAT) and the planned increase in the cost of power to consumers; to the decision to enter a lease agreement with a sitting Cabinet minister for the relocation of the General Post Office, and the missteps surrounding the multi-billionaire oil refinery in Grand Bahama with Oban Energies caused – have caused discontent.
He said that dissatisfaction is not limited to the people, adding there are more FNM MPs and senators who are silently discontent.
Miller announced his resignation from the FNM on Wednesday during debate in the House of Assembly on an amended resolution for a vote of confidence in Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.
He cited irreconcilable differences with the FNM.
Before the House met on that morning, FNM MPs and senators walked from the Cabinet Office to the Lower Chamber in a show of support.
McAlpine was not among them.
Yesterday, he insisted his absence was not symbolic, indicating that he was abroad.
He said he made travel plans well before Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis moved the motion for a vote of no confidence.
The Pineridge MP commended Miller for following his “convictions and his heart” and wished him the best.
Miller is the second FNM MP to depart from the party and become an independent.
Chipman resigned from the FNM in October.
Speaking to Eyewitness News Online, Culmer said Miller and Chipman had long made up their minds to depart the party, and had stopped being functional in the FNM for “quite some time”.