Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine yesterday blasted the Free National Movement (FNM) for failing to have a convention in recent times.
FNM Chairman Carl Culmer yesterday refused to indicate when one will likely take place. However, he noted the party’s youth convention will be held next month.
The FNM’s last convention was held in July 2016, 10 months before the 2017 general election, which saw the party, led by Dr. Hubert Minnis, win in a landslide victory.
“My view remains that I think we have a constitution that indicates that we should have a convention based on the constitution, and if I’m correct, we are due for a convention but we’re not having one,” McAlpine said in an interview with The Nassau Guardian.
He added, “Now, I know that they’re going to have a youth convention…using all the older Cabinet ministers to perhaps beat up on the Progressive Liberal Party in opposition. So, my point is, why not have a convention and match the opposition and answer them? Why are you hiding behind a youth convention to answer the Progressive Liberal Party? Because that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
“So why are we afraid to have convention?”
The PLP (Progressive Liberal Party) held a convention last week. PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis and Deputy Leader Chester Cooper were returned in their positions unopposed. Senator Fred Mitchell was reelected chairman, beating former Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe.
In the lead up to the event, a voice note from Mitchell, in which he actively discouraged others from running against Davis’ team, made rounds.
Mitchell said Davis had called for a unified convention. The comments drew criticism, with many calling the stance undemocratic.
However, McAlpine said the FNM has been hypocritical on the matter.
“You see, you cannot turn around and call the opposition undemocratic because somebody doesn’t want [anyone else] to run for chairman, etc., but yet at least the opposition had a convention,” he said.
“The Free National Movement has not yet had a convention since this last convention which was before the general election.”
McAlpine expressed concern over the level of support shown to the PLP at the convention.
“It is sad that after two years in government, the Progressive Liberal Party could muster up all those people to attend their convention in two years after such a major defeat at the polls,” he said.
“What does that say about the government of the day? There is no way that the Progressive Liberal Party should have been drawing those kinds of numbers at their convention after two years of governance, after being defeated at the polls 35 to four.”