OVERHAUL: FNM to expand ranks of honor in newly ratified constitution

OVERHAUL: FNM to expand ranks of honor in newly ratified constitution
(FILE)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Among several changes the Free National Movement (FNM) hopes to make to the party’s constitution at its upcoming convention is the expansion of its ranks of honors, including its meritorious council members.

The much-anticipated convention will be held from February 23 to 25 and will seek to usher in a whole new set of leaders, along with a newly ratified constitution.

FNM Convention Co-Chair Ethan Adderley said: “It is an overhaul. We have not had a convention since 2016, so it’s a major overhaul.”

Senator Michela Barnett-Ellis.

The amendments, which are being spearheaded by newly-appointed Senator Michaela Barnett-Ellis, will be a part of the party’s morning sessions, along with the presentation of constituency reports and other administrative matters

“As a party, we have only had a small allocation of meritorious council members,” Adderley noted.

“Among its members and supporters, we have easily 40,000 persons or more and we only have provisions for 100 people, whereas the other political parties, they’re in the thousands.

“So there are a lot of individuals that we have not recognized, so that’s one of the big things that people are quite excited about.”

According to the party’s constitution, which was last amended in July 2016, there are three ranks of honor that may be awarded and/or ratified by the national convention of the party, including a freedom fighter, an advisory council member and meritorious council member.

The freedom fighter rank is open to every deserving party member in good standing.

There are a lot of individuals that we have not recognized, so that’s one of the big things that people are quite excited about.

– Ethan Adderley, FNM Convention co-chair

The advisory council member rank is open to every past member of the House of Assembly or the Senate and/or any party member who is in good standing.

The meritorious council member rank is open to any party member of the party who is 55 years or older and/or has been a member of the party for no less than 20 years and remains in good standing.

The party’s official period for the nomination of candidates and recommendations for meritorious council members and freedom fighters has ended.

The three-day convention slated for the end of this month is estimated to cost just over $200,000.

All party positions will be contested except for the leadership, which was voted on during the FNM’s one-day convention in November.

Following its defeat in the 2017 general elections, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) similarly overhauled and ratified a new constitution.

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.