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DNA revokes two candidates

Democratic National Alliance (DNA) leader Branville McCartney yesterday said the party has revoked the nominations of two of its candidates for non-performance.

Former High Rock candidate Philip Thomas and former South Beach candidate Sammie Poitier, also known as Sammi Starr, yesterday both confirmed they have parted ways with the DNA.

However, McCartney and Thomas gave different reasons as to why Thomas is no longer the candidate for High Rock.

Thomas claimed he was kicked out for disagreeing with McCartney, while McCartney claimed Thomas was not living up to the commitment he made to the party.

Thomas said his candidacy was revoked after disagreeing with McCartney’s position on a new hospital for Grand Bahama during a meeting with the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce last month

Thomas claimed McCartney said that if the DNA wins the next election, it would not build a new hospital in Freeport.

“McCartney’s response was ‘we can’t build the hospital for Grand Bahama because the treasury would be broken’ and he went on to elaborate,” Thomas said.

“At the end of [his speech] I said to them that I beg to differ from the leader’s position and went on to tell them that the government promised us and consecutive governments promised us [a hospital] for the past thirty years.

“Plans were drawn up but nothing was done. I said [a DNA] government could align themselves with the likes of Ross University or someone from the private sector to build the hospital and that is my position.”

Thomas added that members of the DNA nomination committee called him out of the meeting before it concluded and objected to him disagreeing with the leader in public.

“They asked me to withdraw my nomination,” he claimed. “I [told] them that ‘I do not have a nomination to withdraw because I didn’t come and look for the DNA, the DNA came looking for me’ and I said ‘you do what you have to do and I’ll do what I have to do’. A couple weeks after that, they sent me a letter stating that they [rescinded] my nomination.”

That letter was received near the end of October, according to Thomas.

But McCartney, who is also the member of Parliament (MP) for Bamboo Town, told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that the party’s decision to revoke Thomas’s candidacy “certainly had nothing to do with him disagreeing with me”.

“It had something to do with not following certain policies and regulations we have in the party for each candidate relative to their constituency,” McCartney said.

He said those duties include: attending briefing meetings with other candidates once per week, submitting certain constituency reports to the party on the 20th day of each month and other requirements relative to each candidate’s constituency.

“The idea behind this is for the candidates to put their best foot forward and hopefully when they do become the MP, for them to be good representatives for that constituency,” McCartney noted.

“Now when candidates are not doing what they committed to do, we have to make a decision – and I note we and not I – and that decision was to revoke his candidacy.

“We felt he was not giving High Rock the best representation and you will see in very short order, a candidate named in that area that he was in.”

McCartney claimed that Starr was also not performing up to the party’s expectations.

The Nassau Guardian was unable to contact Starr yesterday, but he posted a statement about the issue on his Facebook page.

“Over the last few days there has been some speculation in regards to my candidacy. I, Sammie ‘Starr’ Poitier am no longer the Democratic National Alliance’s candidate for the South Beach constituency, as of Wednesday November 23, 2011,” said Poitier.

He did not explain the circumstances regarding the discontinuation of his candidacy with the DNA, however, he indicated that he would still continue to work within the South Beach community.

“I thank you for allowing me into your homes and into your hearts,” Poitier noted.  “We have already begun working together. We will continue to work on building our community center and developing other programs that will strengthen our community.”

McCartney added that the DNA is ”dedicated and committed to candidates and members of Parliament working and doing what is good and what is best for their constituency”.

“That is very fundamental to the DNA and if you can’t do that as a candidate we find it hard pressed [to believe] that you’d do it as an MP,” he said.

“We do have almost a blueprint as what ought to happen and we make it quite easy for the candidates in terms of how they ought to go about doing things in their constituency and when they completely ignore [it] and don’t do it, we have no other choice.”

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