I have watched with interest the rumblings in the Free National Movement (FNM) since the departure of Hubert Alexander Ingraham. There has been much trouble in this party, inclusive of leaked communications, bad press, infighting and another bi-election loss.
But on Thursday, November 15th, 2012, the FNM council decided to put some of these rumblings to rest as they voted for the national and deputy chairman of the party. Darron Cash, despite his well publicized debacle in the press which noted that he could not work with embattled leader Dr. Hubert Minnis, soundly beat Dion Foulkes for the party’s chairmanship. Additionally, Phenton Neymour was beaten by Brensil Rolle for deputy chairman. Both of these vanquished men were extremely loyal to Ingraham.
Back in October, Minnis said that the Ingraham era is over. This did not sit well with many in the FNM who apparently have an unwavering loyalty to Ingraham. Even Zhivargo Laing who some said was being groomed for the party’s leadership under Ingraham has resigned from the Senate effective December 31st, 2012. Minnis knows that if he is to survive as FNM leader for the next general election, he has to form a team that will be loyal to him and not anyone else.
The differences between Cash and Minis seem to have been resolved. It seems that the FNM is now poised to effectively oppose the government on issues affecting the Bahamian people and it also seems that they have retired some members of the old guard in the process.
Minis did his best to send a clear message to Ingraham so that there would be no confusion as to who the current leader of the party was; and now the FNM council has sent clear messages to Foulkes and Neymour. There are still a few members of the old guard left who await their opportunity for one last shot at relevance in this new FNM. But if Minnis is as shrewd as he needs to be, it seems unlikely that these individuals will be major players in 2017.
It is unlikely that Perry Christie will offer again for a possible third term in office. He will be almost 74 years old. Additionally, Christie currently has no clear successor if he decides to retire in 2017. This bodes well in the FNM’s favor and they now seem battle ready to put up a formidable fight to contest the next general election. We will have to wait and see how the saga unfolds.