Marco City MP Michael Pintard has been elected as leader of the Free National Movement (FNM), securing the overwhelming majority of the votes during the party’s convention today.
According to the election results, read by FNM Chairman Carl Culmer, Pintard got 297 votes, Central Grand Bahama MP Iram Lewis got 44 votes and and East Grand Bahama MP Kwasi Thompson received 120 votes.
Pintard said he will work to unite the party.
“I am humbled by the trust and confidence that you have placed in me,” he said during his acceptance speech at Holy Trinity Activity Center.
“I commit to dedicate myself every day to work tirelessly on behalf of all of you and to listen to you and collaborate with you. Our collective genius is always better than a single minded focus of an ‘A’ leader or a small group of leaders. We need all of you.”
He called on FNM’s who have left the party to return home.
“We are asking you to return to the organization that you built, so we can be even better than we are now,” Pintard added.
The former Cabinet minister pledged to work with all FNMs, including those who did not support his leadership bid.
The FNM, which won 35 of the 39 seats in Parliament in the 2017 election, suffered a crushing defeat at the polls in September 16, winning just seven seats. Pintard apologized for the mistakes the party made while in office.
“We had some unforced errors,” he said. “The truth is sometimes we didn’t listen to you the way we ought to. Sometimes we forgot that we are your servants, we work for you, we have temporary jobs. We needed to exercise collectively… and we needed to demonstrate humility that comes from a servant’s heart.”
He said while some of the decisions made may have come from a good place, they had unintended consequences that negatively impacted Bahamians.
However, Pintard said despite those missteps, the FNM has a lot of be proud of, adding that the Minnis administration got a lot of things right.
Pintard’s landslide victory came as no surprise to FNM heavyweights like former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, who indicated that Pintard was the best man for the job. Others like former Cabinet ministers Dion Foulkes and Brent Symonette also publicly supported Pintard.
“As the longest serving leader of the Free National Movement in its 50-year history, having served for 19 years as leader of this party, having led this party to three victories in government of the Bahamas, I stand here to today to say how pleased I am that the party has nominated, elected, and ratified Michael Pintard as our next leader,” Ingraham said following Pintard’s speech.
“I want you to know he has my support. He can call upon me at anytime, anywhere and any day. Go for it, Michael.”