Who Will be the FNM’s Young Party Leader? We Have a Hint
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After the Free National Movement suffered a tumultuous defeat at the electoral poll, the party is seeking new leadership as it transitions into a new phase as the Official Opposition.
A few names have made the rounds including St Barnabas MP Shandendon Cartwright, Central Grand Bahama MP Iram Lewis, Marco City MP Michael Pintard and East Grand Bahama MP Kwasi Thompson. They are young to middle-aged politicians in their 40’s and 50’s which is quite unusual in Bahamian politics.
Only Lewis has officially announced his bid, stating on Wednesday, that the party’s defeat at the polls last month is a clear sign that “it is time for a change” as the party “needs to rebuild and reconnect to its base.” He is adamant that he is the right man for the job.”
Fifty-six-year-old Lewis is new politics and is currently serving his second term in the House of Assembly, serving as Minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture for seven months after the resignation of former Seabreeze MP Laneisha Rolle.
Pintard, a 46-year-old former cabinet minister who has served in two ministries, has said nothing about his bid for the leadership post, but insiders said he is contending for the post as he works to gain support from the 500 delegates.
While on Beyond the Headlines two weeks ago though, Pintard did not deny that he is running but described himself as “collaborative and inclusive,” when asked what qualifies him for the leadership post.
The public awaits his official announcement on his wish to contend the position.
Forty-five-year-old Kwasi Thompson, the former minister of state for finance, is also a possible contender for the FNM leadership post. He is said to be backed by former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, who is seeking to pair him with Senator and former North Abaco MP Darren Henfield for the deputy post if Minnis does not get the support of delegates to run again.
Cartwright was asked by reporters if he will contest for leadership of the party, he told the Nassau Guardian that he was “seriously considering” the position.
“Anytime there is a loss for a political party, there are always conversations about renewal and transition.”
However, he told the Tribune, that the bid for leadership could include a run for other leadership posts.
“Remember, leadership is the leader, the deputy leader, the chairman of the party,” he said.
But reports suggest that Cartwright could be announced as deputy leader to Pintard.
When asked who he will support for party leader, Cartwright said he will make it known at the party convention on November 27.
Cartwright, Lewis, Pintard and Thompson are the four of seven who have won their seats in the snap election on September 16 and are considered as ‘new blood.’
Pintard seems to be the strongest contender in the race.