By now it is apparent, former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis is not going away gracefully.
He is not a former prime minister and former party leader who would say, “I lost fair and square. I wish the new leader of the Free National Movement, all the best,” and then mean it.
Instead, he is steadfast in battling with his party’s leader, Michael Pintard, acting as the main speaker at the Garden Hills Constituency Association meeting, while Pintard was engaged as speaker in another constituency association meeting in Centerville, both going live on Facebook, simultaneously.
“Mr Pintard is the leader and I respect leadership,” he told reporters on the sidelines, an attempt to downplay his actions.
Well, he should prove it. Everything he has done is in direct contrast to that statement and it has long been speculated that he is attempting a comeback. He appears to be undermining Pintard, which is causing division and tension in the party, he once led.
Minnis lost the early election that he called in 2021. Perhaps, he wants to right his wrongs since major failings were at his feet while he governed, which shows a degree of not listening to his advisors when he was in office. He should be commended though, because he governed at a time when the Bahamas suffered two major crises, of which he had no control–Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 Pandemic. And, he made doing business in the Bahamas, easier.
Former prime ministers fade into statesman-like figures–they are gracious and indicative of the title they held. But Minnis’ style is different. He is rouge and deceptive, and the role of a statesman, he will never adopt.
He will never come to a realization that his tenure as leader is over. He is likely to continue to campaign within constituencies in preparation to run in the next general election. Or, he is satisfied in basking in the allegiance of his supporters.
“I didn’t expect to see so many people here tonight,” he said in the introduction at the Garden Hills event.
Who believes that?
He and his supporters called the meeting. He is in campaign mode. He rallied his supporters behind closed doors. His intent is to show the allegiance of his followers. He wants to continue dividing the party to show the current party leader as weak.
His supporter told the Tribune, “It will be war” if Minnis is not permitted to speak at meetings in what they believe is an attempt to silence him.
Another told the Nassau Guardian, “They (FNM leadership) hate to respect Dr Minnis and all of his accomplishments under the previous administrations.”
If Minnis wishes to align with party goals, he would correct ill behavior or speech, and call for unity from his followers.
Yes, he is a parliamentarian and he has a right to speak to the concerns of his constituents, and his position as former PM gave him insight on national issues. But when his actions are counteractive to the party or may not be in the best interest of the party, or it gives an appearance of conflict, then he should stand down. Demonstrate unity. Use wisdom.
The FNM leadership must now be prepared to manage him and figure out how to counter his strategies.
Photo credit: Nassau Guardian