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PM: FNM still has strong support

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has expressed confidence that he and the Free National Movement (FNM) retain the support of the electorate as the best choice to govern the country.

Minnis was asked whether the resignations of two high-profile professionals from the FNM suggest there could be conflicts or issues of support within the party.

“I know [that] I and the party still have strong support,” Minnis told reporters confidently.

“That’s not a matter of I think [it], I know.”

Leonard Sands resigned as president of the Bahamian Contractors Association (BCA) and from the FNM, claiming in a statement on Sunday he was pressured to do so by the political directorate.

He said it was made clear to him that if he did not step aside as president of the BCA, the association and its members could face repercussions.

To this, the prime minister affirmed that to the best of his knowledge there has been no political inference.

He suggested there was no motivation to interfere with the work of the BCA.

“Why would we interfere with anything?” Minnis asked.

When contacted on Sunday, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said there was no pressure from him. 

Asked how the resignation reflects on the FNM, Minnis said, “You must remember that Leonard Sands was also our candidate for Bains and Grants Town and he resigned from the party then also, so I don’t see what’s the big issue.

“That’s nothing new.”

Sands withdrew his candidacy before the May election, citing personal and other reasons.

“He resigned from the party; he resigned when we had him as a candidate, so that’s all that I have to say,” Minnis said.

He continued, “He is not that involved in the party, so what issues can he express? He is not an executive member. He is not a council member. He is not associated with any branch – no organization that I am aware of in the party, so what is the big issue?”

Sands said he was a member of the FNM since 1992.

Former Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) Chairperson Darnell Osborne resigned from the party after the BPL board was abruptly dissolved and Bannister made damning claims against her.

Sources close to the matter said the BPL saga and lack of an investigation into the matter as promised by Minnis contributed to the resignation.

Osborne was a member of the FNM’s finance committee and a member of the party since 2002.

It was pointed out to Minnis that Osborne held a position within the FNM and the back-to-back resignations might have implications for the party.

The prime minister said the public has nothing to be concerned about.

FNM Chairman Carl Culmer said this week that the party had no challenges with either member and the party “remains open for anyone who wants to be a part of it”.

He indicated that Sands, like Osborne, brought value to the FNM.

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