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Chipman: Dissenting does not mean lack of support for govt

Centreville MP Reece Chipman said yesterday he believes the Free National Movement (FNM) has emerged from its conclave united, but suggested he will not soften his stance on policies he disagrees with.

Chipman said the conclave was important for the party.

“Of course, you know we can’t discuss the nature of a conclave,” he said.

“However, we are unified. Unity as we all know has to be practiced and I think we are committed to practicing unity to get to a point where we are able to, of course, fulfill all of the…or most of what we have said we would do from our manifesto.”

The party held a two-day conclave over the weekend to conduct a critical assessment of the FNM.

Asked how his relationship is with the party, Chipman said, “The party is the party.

“It’s the Free National Movement. Our relationship is very good. I can’t say that I have a disconnect with any of my party members.

“I think we do recognize that there is some work to be done and we are all willing to work on that.”

Asked if he intends to be more supportive of the government’s policy agenda, Chipman responded, “I don’t think there is a sense of a lack of support of what the government puts forth.

“Dissenting or having a different point of view is not that you do not support a government.

“You may not support a particular issue or item on the agenda, but not that you do not support the government.”

According to sources who attended the meetings, Chipman, along with Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine, Bains and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson and Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller took a verbal beating from their parliamentary colleagues on Friday night.

However, party members took the government MPs to task at Saturday’s meeting.

McAlpine said yesterday he apologized to Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis if he offended him. But McAlpine said he did not apologize for his stance on several government policies.

The Guardian was also told that Robinson apologized to the party members on Saturday.

Chipman and Miller did not apologize.

The four MPs recently voted against a resolution that sought approval from Parliament for the government to enter into a five-year lease agreement with a company partly owned by a Cabinet minister.

In June, the men also voted against the government’s decision to increase value-added tax from 7.5 percent to 12 percent.

Prior to the conclave, Maurice Moore, a founding father of the FNM, said the men were out of order and they might not have a future in the party if they continue to carry on the way they have.

In a statement on Sunday the FNM said its members, including all parliamentarians, “committed their full support to party unity and the full implementation of the mandate given by the people of The Bahamas”.

Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Assistant Editor at The Nassau Guardian
Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the assistant editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to assistant news editor in December 2018.
Education: College of The Bahamas, English

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