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Taking Control: Mcalpine Shouts ‘Coup’ As Party Dissolves Council

Pineridge MP Rev Frederick McAlpine.

Pineridge MP Rev Frederick McAlpine.

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

PINERIDGE MP Frederick McAlpine’s outspoken stance in the capital has proved damaging back home as the executive council of his constituency association is up for re-election.

The 15-member council was dissolved last month in a move that seeks to shore up the association’s loyalty to the party, according to party insiders, who underscored the sitting council was split over its support of the controversial MP.

However, Mr McAlpine yesterday described the latest development in his strained relationship with his party as a “coup”. In an interview with The Tribune, he said he was ashamed by the “underhanded, undemocratic” agenda but ultimately decided not to challenge the upcoming election.

“The chairman came down and they had a meeting with the intention to dissolve the executive because the present executive supports me,” Mr McAlpine, pictured left, said. 

“The few people who don’t support me are on the gravy train or are trying to get on the gravy train. What they’re doing as a party that extols democratic principles, transparency, accountability - it’s a coup.

“It’s a coup to ensure that they can put the people that they can control, in control, to make sure it goes the way they want. Even after a democratic executive was elected and won.”

FNM Chairman Carl Culmer confirmed the dissolution took place about two weeks ago following a vote, but declined further comment on the matter.

“The association agreed that they need to look at a fresh mandate because they felt as though the association is an FNM association and they want to ensure at the end of the day that we win the seat.

“The party will follow the wishes of the association, that’s the most I will say on that,” Mr Culmer said.

Mr McAlpine’s former campaign manager, Sanfred Rolle, said about nine executive members broke ranks with the MP and called for a meeting with Mr Culmer and Grand Bahama Council Chairman David Thompson.

Mr Rolle claims the MP has created a “divergence” ever since he was left out of the Cabinet, adding he personally spoke to Mr McAlpine several times telling him that he had “crossed the line”.

Hansel Collie, vice-chairman of the Pineridge Constituency Association, told The Tribune the council was dissolved due to conflict. Mr Collie stressed there was “110 percent” support for the Minnis-led administration despite Mr McAlpine’s critical statements.

“We had to close that because of the interference, a conflict we were having,” Mr Collie said.

“It was causing a whole bunch of problems. The MP would direct the chairman what he would like for the chairman to say in a meeting. If you notice every time [Mr McAlpine] go in the House of Assembly he say Pineridge sent him to say whatever he is saying.” 

Mr Collie said: “We never sent him to say foolishness.”

“You know how the FNM go, we don’t dictate how you should run your council but if it’s going against our national policy then you have to dissolve it and get new members. Things wasn’t going as positive as we thought it should go.

“The first time when we had elections it was sort of a handpick. The MP is responsible for choosing his people who he want to be there. But the executive this time it will not be that way. This time its not going to be handpicked. The people are really going to decide who they want,” Mr Collie added, “there will be no interference.”

Mr McAlpine told The Tribune in March he intends to run again in the Pineridge constituency even if he does not get the nomination from his party.

Yesterday, the Pineridge MP said he believes his executive members could win the upcoming elections but will not participate in “petty politics”.

Mr McAlpine has broken ranks with his party on several issues and has been critical of Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis on many occasions, including his harsh criticism of Dr Minnis’ failure to address the conduct of two FNM Cabinet ministers relating to the Frank Smith bribery and extortion trial.

He believes the ministers should be treated the same way as he and two other FNM colleagues, who were fired from various appointed posts last year based on rules of the Westminster system when they voted against a VAT increase.

Most recently, he abstained from voting in favour of the government’s recently passed Immigration Amendment Bill 2019. Mr McAlpine said he believes it effectively puts Bahamians in the back seat.

Comments

realfreethinker 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Good riddance. I cant see why he is complaining. Majority rules. If as he says he has the support of his executive team,let them run again and see what happens.

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TheMadHatter 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I like his fighting spirit - but if he is against the new immigration amendments then he must not know any Bahamians in GB who are out of work.

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rawbahamian 9 months, 2 weeks ago

This man is an idiot who is pissed off because he screwed up his chance to be on the "gravy train". He is also a liability to any political party that entertains him because the Bible clearly states that " a man cannot serve God and man at the same time" therefore he is obviously confused because he is out of his element on both fronts !!!

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realitycheck242 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Ya time as an FNM MP is winding down McAlpine. They dont like your stance on many positions.. They want puppets who they can control. Continue to shock them on every position and prepare to run as an independent candidate next election.

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realfreethinker 9 months, 2 weeks ago

McAlpine is hardly a principled man. He is more of a grand-stander than a doer. There is nothing wrong with an occasional disagreement with your party,but he has taken an antagonistic approach which does not serve him nor his constituents well. Why did he accept the nomination knowing what the party's platform was and disagreeing with most of it.

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geostorm 9 months, 2 weeks ago

agreed @realfreethinker. McAlpine is a grave disappointment. A fool with selfish ambition!

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Godson 9 months, 2 weeks ago

There was nothing wrong with the fact that he accepted the FNM nomination, this is true irrespective of the Party's platform. That is exactly what is meant by politics. It calls for associating with a collective body of people and different views that may very well not be all that you, of yourself, would have chosen otherwise. But this is always necessary to unite the forces of the polite (people) to achieve common goals.

Rev. McAlpine has gained a footing in our Parliament where he can now make a truly significant difference - indeed a positive change as such is needed. - and this is the case irrespective of how he got there. He has three (3) years in which to do this.

And yes, he has chosen not to be politically correct in blindly following and aligning with what the party and its leader are doing knowing it is contrary to right principle. That is what we need: a truly independent political outlook. This would have been the mantra that LBT would have carried had she been elected to the House for Long Island.

As it now stands, insight (intelligence) necessary for foresight (vision for the future) is absent in the present Parliament.

Hopefully Rev. McAlpine would move out of the shadows of both the PLP and FNM and shine forth so that both his constituents and the greater Bahamas can see and grasp his perspectives - being unhinged and unhindered by the restrained social class agendas of both the FNM and PLP.

We all could use a bit of fresh air; indeed, a sincere and true independent voice for the people.

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realfreethinker 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Again you have missed the point. If he was such an independent voice why didn't he run as an independent. You can't expect to be elected on a party platform and act as an independent. I would accept your argument that we need independent voices in parliament, but that is highly unlikely when all of the members are elected through party affiliations.

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Godson 9 months, 2 weeks ago

It would seem that you and I are much on the same page except for method employed by Rev. McAlpine, that is, of getting into Parliament.

That being said, HE IS IN! Don't be like those Democrats in the U.S.A. Get over it! Rev Frederick McAlpine is a Honourable Member of Parliament.

My friend of mutual understanding, 'if a donkey is in the desert what do you do?'.

Who gives a shit about whether the animal of carriage is a creature of pedigree or not? Do you insist on riding on a stallion horse? Well you wait for your Rolls Royce or Bently, I am going the first thing smoking. A volkswagon will do just as fine for me to get to town.

Whether it is a horse, elephant or donkey, or for that fact, a zebra, if the beast is capable of carrying you to where you want to go, or getting you closer to your destination, to hell with discrimination as to how it got there in the first place (Parliament). Just get on and ride it to where you would want it to go.

Rev. Frederick McAlpine is capable of now becoming an independent voice for us. Let's encourage him to.

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realfreethinker 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Godson. I accept your analogy about catching whatever ride to get out of the desert. But if you catch the donkey and get out but refuse to feed the donkey when it is hungry. How would you expect the donkey to act once you ask it to now taking around town to get some things done?

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Naughtydread 9 months, 2 weeks ago

This guy wasn't hugged by his mother when he was younger and it shows!

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TalRussell 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes, no the Pineridge's red shirts MP comrade Frederick, has become lone outspoken opposition voice for 'FREE porters" and its outlying constituents........ being the four-seated PLP House MP's. the Queen's official opposition, have all but vacated their roles, yes, no?

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Godson 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes but his message could be more clearer and effective to us outlying constituents if only he didn't have the affiliation noise of the FNM lingering in the background.

As to the Queen's official opposition: they are so busy smooching down to the Bahamian public to realized they are not the alternative to inept and incompetent governance. They are seen as a disease of the past that any sensible and good thinking person would do best to avoid.

In fact, we are hoping for a vaccine against it, the PLP.

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CatIslandBoy 9 months, 2 weeks ago

r Rev. McAlpine is definitely an opportunist who used the FNM coattails to ride to victory. Such a man cannot be trusted.

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John 9 months, 2 weeks ago

So who killed Sir Harry Oakes

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John 9 months, 2 weeks ago

How many years later and we still don’t know ‘Who killed Sir Harry Oakes’. Justice was fingered

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OriginalBey 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I wish Bahamians would learn our system of government and a few things about party politics. If the leader doesn't want you, you're out. There is a way to voice your dissent and it's not in the media.It's more entertaining and intoxicating to swim against the tide. He questions efforts the Minnis administration makes to revive the economy before it even pans out. Things the PLP is less vocal on. Things that make you go hmmm...

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sheeprunner12 9 months, 2 weeks ago

At least the Pineridge constituency HAD an elected party branch executive council ........... many do not have any ............ The generals are the "council" for many MPs.

These (Nassau) central executive officers who so-called "run" the party, are simply henchmen for the (PLP/FNM) Cabinet MPs ......... there is NO democracy in either of the major parties .............. What a shame and a disgrace.

Wonder where the FNM Long Island Branch Council that was in place when LBT was MP is now???? .................. No public elections were held ........... I suppose the "coup" has already taken place there.

Wonder what Gippy gonna say????

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