Turnquest: Follow FNM constitution if McAlpine not wanted

Following calls from the Free National Movement’s (FNM) Pineridge Constituency Association for the resignation of outspoken Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine, Deputy Prime Minister and East Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest said if the association is serious it would look to the party’s constitution to set that in motion.

Chairman of the association Vernet Munnings told the Tribune that a resignation from the MP would be in the best interests of the constituency, claiming that McAlpine does nothing for that area and insisting that it is unlikely that he will receive the nomination again.

Speaking to the matter outside Cabinet yesterday, Turnquest said, “The party has a constitution which we are governed by.

“The constituency has made their views known and, of course, they have a right to do that.

“There are procedures in which they would follow if they are serious about calling for the member of Parliament to resign from the party.

“There’s a process the party goes through to decide whether they will act on the recommendations from the constituency and the process goes from there.”

According to the FNM’s constitution, the constituency association could bring to the attention of the party’s executive committee a member of the party who “may have acted contrary to the interests of the party, its platform, programmes, policies or principles”.

That could trigger a process that ultimately leads to a member’s expulsion from the party.

Asked whether he believes the internal matter will hurt the party going into the next general election, Turnquest said, “Not at all.”

“I think this makes us stronger as a matter of fact,” he continued.

“We are a democratic nation. The constituents are the ultimate deciders of who represent them, who they want to represent them and that process works its way up through the party and again we are committed to democracy and to ensuring that the person that is selected in any constituency to represent the people actually does represent the people and this is just part of the process.”

The calls for McAlpine’s resignation ring out after he declared that he was unsure whether he would support a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.

During their recent National General Convention, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis announced that the party’s parliamentary caucus intends to move a vote of no confidence in Minnis as a result of the government’s handling of a lease to rent space in Town Centre Mall for the General Post Office.

The government passed a resolution to lease the mall to house the General Post Office on October 24, 2018 from St. Anne’s MP Brent Symonette and his brother.

Asked if he supported the opposition’s decision to move forward with the vote, McAlpine said, “I cannot support at this time the opposition in terms of a vote of no confidence. I can’t say yes and I can’t say no. I am more likely to abstain in such a vote.”

The Pineridge MP has continually criticized the Minnis administration and its work in office.

He was one of the four FNM MPs who voted against the government’s post office resolution.

He was also one of four FNM MPs who voted against the government’s decision to increase value-added tax last year.

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Sloan Smith

Sloan covers national news for The Nassau Guardian. Sloan officially joined the news team in September 2016 but interned at The Nassau Guardian while studying journalism at the University of The Bahamas. Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications

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