Four of the Free National Movement (FNM) MPs on Grand Bahama rallied their supporters on Friday to keep the faith in the government as it works to bring economic stability to the island.
West Grand Bahama and Bimini MP Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe, Central Grand Bahama MP Iram Lewis, Marco City MP Michael Pintard and East Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest all spoke to FNM supporters during a special all-island event at the party’s Grand Bahama headquarters.
Notably absent was Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine, who has been very critical of the Minnis administration since coming to office.
McAlpine told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that, “Pineridge wasn’t represented in terms of the member of Parliament being there because at the time I had a previous engagement prior to the party announcing that they will have this town hall meeting or rally, or whatever it was considered to be.”
McAlpine opted not to comment further on the matter.
Several prominent former FNM MPs were also present, including C.A. Smith and FNM founding member Maurice Moore. There was standing room only.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis entered the room to his usual theme song, “Soldier’s Heart” by R. Kelly, and was met with cheers and applause, greeting and hugging party supporters as he made his way to the podium.
The theme of the night seemed to be to encourage FNMs not to lose hope in the party amidst ongoing criticism from the opposition and shifting public opinion post-election.
“It will take time,” said Parker-Edgecombe, as she spoke of what’s to come for her constituency.
Lewis chided, “We are working.”
And Pintard asserted, “Don’t lose the faith.”
When Minnis addressed the room, he pointed to the decrease in joblessness on the island from 12.4 percent to 11.9 percent, the government’s decision to purchase the Grand Lucayan resort and the recently penned deal with Carnival Cruise Line for a new cruise port in East Grand Bahama, insisting that change is on the horizon.
“Grand Bahama is moving in the right direction, but there is plenty more work to be done,” he said.
“… We expect that 2019 will be an even better year.”
Among other developments he touted for the island, was the new Atlantic Medical headquarters, which recently broke ground in Freeport; the solar power farm for the Grand Bahama Power Station, which broke ground last week; and the unveiling of a sea wall at Smith’s point.
“Our administration also approved in principle the establishment of an international medical school here in Grand Bahama,” Minnis added.
“This concept is not new to you. It promises to be a $10 million investment, which has the potential to bring about 200 construction jobs and 400 permanent jobs.
“This does not include the positive economic impact of students and staff living on our island.
“All of this means, new construction, new jobs and new development for Grand Bahama.”
As he closed out his address, Minnis urged FNMs to continue to put their support behind the MPs, as they will lead the party when he retires after his planned second term in office.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications