McCartney to form new party
Bamboo Town Member of Parliament Branville McCartney has taken steps to form another political party that he believes would provide a viable alternative to the Free National Movement(FNM)and Progressive Liberal Party(PLP)in the next general election,The Nassau Guardianhas confirmed.
The Bamboo Town MP stunned the FNM and many in the nation Monday when he resigned from the party.
He walked into the House of Assembly and sent resignation letters to FNM leader Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and FNM chairman Carl Bethel and abruptly walked out.
McCartney and his advisors have reportedly eyed at least 41 key people from different sectors of society and inside the FNM and PLP, who would be interested in running on a ticket that would shake up the status quo.
He has also reportedly had soft talks with several notable Bahamians about filling certain positions should his party win at the upcoming polls.
McCartney’s preferred candidate picks appear to be among the 35 to 55 age group, with some exceptions.
One of McCartney’s advisors, who spoke on condition on anonymity, said the new party, whose name is being kept under wraps, would run a candidate in every constituency in the next general election.
Reports are that McCartney would hope to capture enough seats to force either of the major parties into a coalition government with the caveat that McCartney leads the coalition.
However, McCartney’s advisors believe that sentiment against Ingraham and Opposition Leader Perry Christie is growing within the country, and the field is open for a major political force to take over.
It is also reported that McCartney has secured major financial backing to fund his planned campaign.
Meetings are supposed to take place this weekend to flesh out the detailed structure of the proposed organization,The Guardianunderstands.
Local activist John Bostwick, son of former Attorney General Janet Bostwick and former President of the Senate J. Henry Bostwick, is said to be closely involved in the talks.
Bostwick, an attorney, was in the galley of the House of Assembly yesterday when McCartney contributed to the debate on the sale of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company(BTC).
During his contribution, he signaled that he was ready to take the country forward without the support of either major party.
“Some have said that I like to showboat and indeed grandstand,”he said on the floor of the House.”Some who doubt my ability to lead say that I am unqualified, but as one gospel psalmist says, God may not call the most qualified, but he qualifies those whom he calls.”
McCartney acknowledged that there are also people who call him”a young upstart”and that”I should wait for my time.”
Referencing the words of the late American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., McCartney said,”The time is always ripe to do right.”
“Over the next few weeks and months, and even years, as I seek to continue serving the people of Bamboo Town and The Bahamas, I am sure that the colorful commentaries, criticisms and characterizations will only intensify as the naysayers will naysay in their attempts to discredit me and send me to my political graveyard,”McCartney said.
“But I can assure you…I will continue to do what I entered politics in 2007 to do, and that is work to ensure that The Bahamas becomes a society free from the force of complacency brought on us by years and years of oppression, insensitivity, bitterness and self hate.”
Meanwhile, the FNM Bamboo Town Constituency Association yesterday officially responded to McCartney’s resignation.
“[We]wish to express our considerable personal and collective disappointment over[McCartney’s]resignation from the FNM and the abrupt manner in which it was done,”the association said in a statement.
“He did not inform the executives of the Bamboo Town Association prior to his decision. We learned of his decision at the same time it was made public. Having worked for his election to the House of Assembly and on his behalf in Bamboo Town, we would have expected the basic courtesy of prior notification and consultation.
“Mr. McCartney had numerous opportunities to inform the association leadership of his decision, even as recently as last Thursday night when two of our executives met with him. He could have telephoned our association chairman immediately prior to his resignation.
“Many in Bamboo Town still do not understand his abrupt resignation from the Cabinet and now his resignation from the FNM. The philosophy, manifesto, policies and leadership of the FNM have not changed since Mr. McCartney was elected to the House of Assembly as an FNM, and joined Mr. Ingraham’s Cabinet.”
Apart from of a statement he sent to the media and published on his Facebook page Monday morning, McCartney has not spoken about his resignation or future plans outside the House of Assembly.
The Guardianunderstands that more details about the new party he is forming should be revealed in the coming weeks.
McCartney’s resignation from the FNM comes roughly a year after he resigned from the Cabinet as minister of state for immigration.