Culmer says Golden Isles MP resignation from FNM has ‘no impact’
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — FNM Chairman Carl Culmer said yesterday he expects one more Free National Movement (FNM) MP to resign given his vocal opposition to the government.
He was referring to Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine, who he characterized as a “trojan horse, seeking to destroy the party from the inside”.
McAlpine has opposed the Minnis administration of several controversial decisions and continues to openly criticize the government.
“He has been criticizing the party,” Culmer said.
“I noticed the party has not retaliated or said anything adverse against him. He continues to be a trojan horse to try to destroy the party from within, a party that gave him an opportunity to be where he is — a platform from which he can stand on a speak.”
Culmer said: “When he was a PLP he didn’t have the opportunity. They denied him that opportunity, but the FNM gave him that opportunity to have the planform to speak on when others who wanted the opportunity could have had it.
“He has to make up his mind on what he is going to do. We are not going to force him out. That’s the party. I cannot speak for the constituency because the constituency has a voice for this as well and that’s what persons need to understand who represent constituencies. Each one of the MPs were voted in by constituency.”
Culmer told Eyewitness News Online the resignation of Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller from the party on Wednesday was expected.
Miller is the second FNM MP to depart from the party and become and independent.
Centreville MP Reece Chipman resigned from the FNM in October, following his resignation from the Public Accounts Committee.
Miller, Chipman, McAlpine and Bains and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson voted against the government’s decision increase value-added tax from 7. 5 percent to 12 percent last year.
The men were all stripped of their government appointments; however, Chipman had already been fired from his post as chairman of the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation earlier that year.
Yesterday, Culmer said Miller and Chipman had long made up their minds about their positions in the party, and insisted their recent departure has “no impact”.
“These guys have made up their mind from the last year budget of what they were going to do,” the chairman said.
“They weren’t functional around the party for quite some time.
“Then leaving has no impact on the party, none whatsoever. But, I don’t want us to dwell on that. I want us to dwell on all of the work you heard yesterday the FNM has done over the last two and a half years.”
Culmer added: “Let us move and see how we can improve the country now, and the FNM has a plan. We have been working our plan and we will continue to work our plan over the next two and a half years.”
When asked if the former FNM MPs would be welcomed back into the party, Culmer said the FNM is a big tent that recognizes the value of numbers.
He said if the pair were willing to be team players, the FNM would be receptive to discussing them rejoining the ranks.