December 15, 2016
United People's Movement (UPM) Deputy Leader John Pinder said yesterday that while a mounted opposition force has great potential, the arrangement between the seven Free National Movement MPs who ousted Dr. Hubert Minnis as leader of the Official Opposition, and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) will likely not last.
Using a hypothetical scenario where Official Opposition Leader Loretta Butler-Turner and the six FNM MPs who support her are expelled from the FNM and fall under the DNA and its leader Branville McCartney, or form a new political organization, Pinder said, "That won't last, as Loretta doesn't wish to be a deputy and Branville thinks he must be prime minister".
Butler-Turner named McCartney as leader of opposition business in the Senate on Monday.
She said she and her caucus are working above "party politics" and "across borders to achieve a common good".
McCartney described what was widely perceived as the makings of a coalition, as an "understanding".
He also said he is prepared to concede to better ideas in his role in the Upper Chamber, should any potential conflicts arise regarding positions taken by his party and the Official Opposition.
"I don't think it's going to last," Pinder said.
"If Loretta wanted to be deputy, she would have stayed with the FNM.
"Branville certainly is not going to give up a leadership post to her. I think the post to the Senate is more advantageous to the DNA than to Loretta and her group, certainly because Branville would have been the only leader of a major party who did not have a platform.
"It's going to certainly cause emotions."
Asked about a further merging of the UPM with the DNA or faction of the FNM, Pinder said the original intention was to capture all opposition groups to "mount a united force", but "it appears as though the FNM, the DNA and the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) all have the same attitude as it relates to governance".
"We want righteous government, and we want to change the governmental system," Pinder said.
"So, I don't know what clause has them in a bind where they refused to change the system.
"In my view, they are all the same."
In the House of Assembly yesterday, Marco City MP Greg Moss announced that the UPM was the new name of a single political organization, the result of last week's merger between the United Democratic Party (UDP) and The People's Movement (TPM), of which Pinder is a founding member.
Moss, who was elected on the PLP's ticket in 2012, said he has been elected leader of the UPM and Pinder deputy leader.
The parties had been in discussions on the merger for almost six months.
The UPM will contest all seats in the next general election, according to Moss.
Pinder said yesterday the UPM expects to reveal its first 10 candidates next week.
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News date : 12/15/2016 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories