Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said he finds it fascinating that people are still questioning whether Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis will attempt to remain as leader, when it’s “clear as day” that a new leader will emerge during the party’s convention next month.
Ingraham spoke to reporters after he viewed the body of veteran hotelier J. Barrie Farrington at the Senate on Friday morning.
“I find it fascinating that people are asking that question,” Ingraham said when asked for his thoughts on whether Minnis should seek reelection.
“It is clear as day to me that the current leader of the FNM will no longer be leader of the FNM after convention on November 27, and he has already told us he is not running for the office anymore.
“The party has determined it will hold a one-day convention with the sole purpose of electing a leader. That’s what is going to happen.
“I shall be there, God willing, and so will others in the party.”
After a September 22 meeting of the party, FNM Chairman Carl Culmer told reporters that Minnis will stay on as leader until a new leader is elected at the convention.
However, Minnis has evaded questions in recent weeks over whether he will seek reelection.
The Guardian understands that Minnis has been reaching out to various party members seeking support.
Minnis is expected to address the matter during an FNM church service on Sunday.
Nominations for leader opened on October 19 and will close at 5 p.m. on November 18.
Culmer said there will be no nominations entertained on the convention floor, or after the close of nominations on November 18.
He said candidates must be nominated by at least two members of the party and must also sign the application form acknowledging that they are willing to run for leader.
Ingraham noted that Minnis could run if he chooses.
“If he wants to do that, he can do that,” Ingraham said.
“But on the 18th of November, the office of leader of the FNM will be vacant and Peter Turnquest, the deputy leader of the party, will act as leader until a leader is elected on the 27 of November.”
The party suffered a crippling defeat during the September 16 general election, winning only seven of the 39 seats in the House of Assembly. Minnis called the election eight months before one was constitutionally due.
When asked where the party needs to go from here, Ingraham said it’s not for him to decide.
“…But certainly the party can count on me to support, contribute, and make suggestions in any reasonable form,” the former FNM leader said.
“I have not been active in the last five years or more because I did not think that my advice or counsel was appreciated, wanted or needed, and so I did not avail myself of any opportunity to get in the way of anyone.”
The FNM convention will be held at Holy Trinity Activities Centre. This is the first convention the party has had since 2016.