(By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | [email protected])
Let’s be clear. Dr. Hubert Minnis will always be a shadow over Official Opposition Free National Movement Leader Michael Pintard’s head, as long as he remains in frontline politics. Dr. Minnis, who led the FNM to a lopsided defeat (7-32) at the hands of the incoming governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) on September 16 last, succeeded in completely polarizing the organization that had opted for him in 2012. He got to lead the FNM almost by default, after the political heavyweight Hubert Ingraham resigned after three non-consecutive stints as prime minister of the country.
There was never a lot of confidence displayed in him (Dr. Minnis), but he just happened to be the best option at the time. His heavy-handed approach, seemingly his way or no other, had support only from those who were seen as his minions. Thankfully for the FNM, there were many others who advocated a more inclusive leadership style. Once the general elections of the aforementioned September 16, 2021, were over, and the dismal showing of the FNM was noted, there was a strong move to rid the party of Dr. Minnis in a leadership role.
The result was a one-day leadership convention on November 27. Pintard was opposed by two thought to be among the Dr. Minnis’ minions, Kwaisi Thompson and Iram Lewis. They didn’t stand a chance. Collectively, Pintard (297 votes), beat them handily (103) for Thompson and (44) for Lewis. They lost, in my firm view, particularly because of being associated with Dr. Minnis. On the other hand, Pintard was his own man.
He is of stern character, and has a fine political resume. Dr. Minnis, though, will continue to be somewhat of a distraction to the Pintard leadership once he keeps hanging around. Any slip-up by Pintard, will spur Dr. Minnis’ folks to apply inside party pressure. Make no mistake about it, Dr. Minnis is still a strong personality, as well.
The alternative, which we have to live with for the normal term, unless something unforeseen happens, was not all that compelling. Oh, but the people disdained Dr. Minnis. They wanted no part of him for another term and his colleagues, accordingly, suffered. He caused his Cabinet ministers and others down the line, hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries, that would have been sent to their accounts until May of next year. The snap election was a terrible strategy.
There definitely is a disconnection between Dr. Minnis and the FNM support base.
He should go altogether. That way, Pintard would have a good chance for a new-direction leadership.