By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Hubert Minnis is considered to be a political pariah. He certainly fits the description of an outcast, much more so than any other leader in Bahamian political history, I submit. This man has been rejected by the national voters in great numbers, and within the party he hangs on to, the Free National Movement (FNM), it is understood that the great majority wish he would just go away, resign, and get totally out of the picture. Killarney could very well do with another representative.
The fall from political grace that, in my view, is the largest aspect of his legacy, puts Dr. Minnis in the ignominious category of one. Given what happened under his watch; the questionable contracts, the inflated budgets, the attitude etc., I know of no other major party leader who bore as much or more public disgrace or shame.
Let’s go through the list of political leaders in the modern Bahamas. For the now-governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), the leaders include Henry Milton Taylor, Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, Perry Gladstone Christie and Phillip “Brave” Davis. The first government of the country, the United Bahamian Party (UBP), had Sir Roland Symonette and Godfrey Johnstone. The Free PLP/FNM’s list is longer, inclusive of short-term leaders. The prominent chiefs were, of course, founding-leader Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield, Sir Kendal Isaacs and Hubert Ingraham. Then, there were Cyril Fountain, Cyril Tynes, Henry Bostwick, Tommy Turnquest and Michael Pintard (currently in charge). All of them, their faults noted, were thought to be honourable men.
What about Dr. Hubert Minnis? The truth be told, there is the view that he sours the FNM. And, he won’t go away.
In an earlier commentary in GB News, it was predicted that Dr. Minnis would be a great obstacle to Pintard’s leadership. He seems determined to undermine the younger politician who has been widely accepted by FNMs across the length and breadth of this nation. Pintard is certainly more dignified. The antics of Dr. Minnis are disgusting. He lost the election of 2021 and the FNM opted to change him and go with another at the helm. That was the logical conclusion. His decisions in leadership, for the most part, were not sound ones at all.
Think about it for a moment. Dr. Minnis could still be the executive leader of this country. His Cabinet Ministers could still be moving about in the political style befitting their portfolios. In particular, they could still be earning their salaries. Cabinet Ministers each lost more than $60,000 because of the decision made by Dr. Minnis to call an early election, September 16, of last year. He dealt serious blows to his party and the pockets of ministers, other parliamentarians and supporters with lucrative contracts.
Yet he sticks around, seemingly making every effort to upstage the sitting FNM Leader Pintard. In that earlier commentary, I warned Pintard about what he was likely to face in Dr. Minnis. It is not a pretty scene for the FNM. On the one hand there is Leader Pintard, trying valiantly to make his party relevant with the voters once again. On the other hand, Dr. Minnis appears to be disdainful of Pintard and his status in the country as Her Majesty’s Loyal Official Opposition Leader.
The time has come for those who care deeply for the FNM to take a strong stand alongside Pintard, and insist that Dr. Minnis moves on. If not, a fractured party will be the result and the FNM will not be able to go to the people for voting support as a unified body.