Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine yesterday dismissed calls for his resignation from the Free National Movement (FNM), arguing that the party’s leadership has become “petty”.
FNM Pineridge Association Chairperson Vernet Munnings called for McAlpine to resign from the party, noting that it would be in the best interest of his constituents, the Tribune reported yesterday.
McAlpine told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that he was “disappointed”.
“These calls show me how petty leadership in the Free National Movement has become,” he said.
“All they’re doing is empowering me, because people actually know what the real deal is.
“I mean we have four other members of Parliament in Grand Bahama, but people want to know what I’m doing. It’s simple, go to my page and see.”
He added, “I’m an FNM in heart but I’m disappointed in the behavior of the FNM towards someone who has sacrificed so much for the FNM.”
McAlpine has lambasted the FNM and Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis since coming to office in 2017.
He strongly opposed Minnis’ decision to loosen the country’s immigration rules and accept students and other Dominicans with families in The Bahamas as Dominica prepared to rebuild from Hurricane Maria in 2017.
In 2018, McAlpine, along with three other government MPs, voted against the increase in value-added tax (VAT) from 7.5 percent to 12 percent, which cost him his position as chairman of the Hotel Corporation of The Bahamas.
He also opposed a resolution last year for the government to enter into a lease agreement with St. Anne’s MP Brent Symonette to rent space in the Town Centre Mall to house the General Post Office.
He said yesterday that he is a representative of the people of Pineridge and not a select grouping of FNMs within the constituency.
“I am here to represent the people of Pineridge and not to be controlled by the whims and fancies of a select group whose main objective and goal is to push that of the party,” he said.
“My goal is to push that of the people of the Pineridge constituency.”
He charged that the FNM is not the same party that former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham led.
“Many, many FNM supporters will tell you they don’t recognize this present Free National Movement,” he said.
“They do not recognize them.
“They do not see them as the FNM they knew under the administration of former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.
“Obviously this is a different party, and let me say this, I have not fallen away from the tenets of the party. I have stuck through to what the party campaigned on.
“They were the ones who condemned VAT. They were the ones who talked about conflict of interest. They were the ones who said it was going to be the people’s time and they were going to look out for the small man.
“I am still sticking with those tenets. Who strayed? Frederick McAlpine? Or has the party leadership strayed from what they originally said they would do? Is it really the people’s time?”