Bahamas' deputy opposition leader eyes top post

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) -- Deputy leader of the main opposition Free National Movement (FNM) Loretta Butler Turner says she will seek the leadership of the party that lost power in the 2012 general election.

Butler Turner, the parliamentary representative for Long Island, will challenge Dr Hubert Minnis, who assumed the leadership of the party after Hubert Ingraham stepped down from politics following the FNM's defeat in the May 7 general election.

Elections will take place during the party's convention scheduled for November 21.

Butler Turner said her decision to seek the top post in the party followed much personal reflection and consultation with her family, FNMs and constituents from Long Island.

"I believe that the call to public service today is to help heal a wounded and troubled nation; to stem the ever-mounting tide of violence and social decay; to heal the spirit and strengthen the will of the Bahamian people to face the future with courage," she said.

She said she also intends to "work for the transformation of our society through the restoration of our social culture and to vigorously pursue the development of our economy with emphasis on the continued expansion of Bahamian ownership.

"Given the great challenges of mounting a more effective opposition, of holding this government accountable and of returning the FNM to office, the question is this: Who is the best available person, at this time, to lead the Opposition in parliament and in the country, and to defeat the PLP at the next general election?"

She said the question of leadership today, is not who is the best man for the job, adding, "I believe that I am the most capable individual at this time to unite, to reignite and to lead the opposition in order to defeat a failed government.

"I believe that there are very distinct differences between the major parties. The FNM must be clear about those differences and consistent in our positions and convictions.We have a proud record of government, a record of reform and modernisation in three non-consecutive administrations led by the Honourable Hubert Ingraham."

She said she was seeking the top FNM post "because I believe that the FNM needs the quality of leadership that will attract more independent voters and young people, as well as a growing number of PLPs who are disturbed by the direction of the country today.

"I believe that I will offer to my party and to the country a big heart, a tough and strong mind, and a spirit of compassion, especially for the least fortunate in our Bahamas," she emphasised.

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