By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
An administrator from the LIBRE National Movement urged party leader Dr Hubert Minnis to step down to allow the organization to refocus its efforts and become a viable force in the future.
Shango Woodside, FNM’s national administrator in Grand Bahama, believes Dr Minnis has lost contact with party members, leading many to not show up to vote on Thursday.
The Liberal Progressive Party was brought into governance after unofficially winning some 32 of the 39 general election seats in the country.
Almost all of the FNM Cabinet ministers lost their seats in Parliament. FNM President Carl Culmer said, based on statistics he saw, that only 38% of voters turned out to vote.
This contributed to the victory of Philip “Brave” Davis, who was sworn in as the 5th Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas on Friday in a private ceremony at the Governor General’s office.
With little to say about the electoral defeat, former Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson said it was time for the FNM to come together to decide who they want to lead them.
“I think one of the reasons we lost the election is that the party leader has lost touch with ordinary people,” said Woodside. “I’m the one who really sold him to the people of Grand Bahama to accept him as their chef. People thought he was not charismatic and that he was not a good speaker. I told them his leadership would be different, and they bought him.
“What really happened after that was it seemed like when they came to power they forgot about ordinary people, and now that’s the result. They never listened to anyone on the pitch and arrogance started to take hold. Communication went south. We tried to explain to them, but no one was listening.
“Many FNMs are unhappy, unenthusiastic, not excited, just not inspired or motivated to come vote. Calling early elections was a mistake on the part of the leader. It was a horrible mistake that backfired. Personally, I love Dr Minnis as a person, but I think now is the time for him to step down and for us to choose a new leader. We need a new leader as soon as possible ”
The administrator downplayed the PLP’s victory by saying that the FNM simply did not go to vote.
“What I saw in this election, people were not interested in voting for our leader or the prime minister-elect,” he continued. “The FNM stayed at home, it shows in the drop in voter turnout. They had no interest. So it was not really a defeat of the PLP, but rather of the FNM who just did not come to vote.
“What put the icing on the cake were the reactions after Hurricane Dorian. They tried to sell that the leader was a compassionate person across the rest of the community, but he didn’t show it. He started to lose a lot of popularity. Turnout was low overall.
“The FNM is known to have a lot of quarrels when it is in opposition and takes a long time to organize and rally, but I advise my party not to sleep on the PLP but to organize an opposition inside and outside the Chamber. Assembly. So we have to choose a leader and organize ourselves short and fast.
After the FNM administrator unveiled his thoughts on losing the FNM at the polls, The Tribune spoke to Mr. Frank Watson, who was Deputy Prime Minister under a previous Ingraham administration.
For his part, he said: “I think they need to come together and figure out who is going to lead them,” Watson said. “Then after choosing a new chef, they have to start the groundwork they need to win. “
Mr Culmer also added that not only was it time to regroup, but also to understand why the FNM had been beaten at the polls.
Culmer also mentioned the low voter turnout.
He said: “When you look at it, we have to find out the reasons why we lost and correct them immediately. When I look at the statistics regarding the electorate who voted, there were only 38 percent who voted. It really wasn’t a large percentage of people in the ballot box who voted PLP.
“We have to find out what went wrong and why people rejected us and build from there. We have already started our plans. We had a meeting today with a number of our stakeholders. We have a plan to bring our party together. We will bring together all of our members who might have grievances with the party and at the end of the day we will be victorious whenever the next election is called. “