Former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has reached the end of the road as FNM leader – the only question now is when he will leave the post.
No matter how you look at the election results, they represented an overwhelming rejection of Dr Minnis and his platform.
It doesn’t matter if it was because people stayed home, it doesn’t matter if it was because people switched their vote – the simple fact is that they did not choose Dr Minnis, who lost an election he didn’t have to call so early by a landslide.
Whatever internal polling he put his faith in was sorely misguided.
The simple matter is that Dr Minnis asked the people to return him to office, and the people said no.
Had he won, he had already said the new term would have been his last as leader, as he intended to push legislation to limit a Prime Minister to two terms. So he was expecting to step down at the end of this new term – it just turns out we already have a term limit for Prime Ministers called the public vote.
With his platform rejected, it’s time to step aside and pass the FNM’s torch to a new leader. Dr Minnis would like to continue leading the FNM in the House of Assembly until a new leader is chosen. Other voices, including reportedly potential successor Michael Pintard, want him to go before that.
Both sides have a point. The best thing Dr Minnis can do as a final action is ensure a smooth transition. The worst thing he can do is serve as a lame duck leader with no authority to call the new government to account.
The first 100 days in office are often a flurry of new initiatives, laying out the agenda of the new government and beginning the process of legislating those changes. The Leader of the Opposition should be in place to argue against such changes when they would be for the worse, and to help serve as a check against decisions that are unwise or which do not serve the people’s interest.
That person should ideally be someone looking to the future, not in the process of making a transition from the past.
There is always the possibility of course that Dr Minnis might run for leader again at convention, reinforced by serving as party leader in the House in the meanwhile. That would be a mistake. The public has spoken, and loudly. Dr Minnis should accept that.
So far, there is no timeline for a convention for the FNM. That should be done quickly. The party needs clarity so that it knows its direction, and so it can provide strong opposition in Parliament.
The time has come for a change. What the FNM needs to do now is get on with it.
What new Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis had to say after his tour of Princess Margaret Hospital yesterday should not come as a surprise.
He described the hospital as “dismal”, and described the construction timeline at the hospital as unacceptable.
Getting to know the reasons for the hospital’s problems is an important part of settling into the new job, but we all know one of the problems facing our healthcare system – COVID-19.
Construction has been delayed because of the number of COVID cases disrupting the contractor’s work. Meanwhile, the staff at the hospital are overwhelmed by the number of cases they are dealing with, while the morgue has more than 320 bodies stored there at present.
In this column, we have talked about how the hospital has been overwhelmed – and how we need to do all we can to drive down the number of cases to help our healthcare staff.
Mr Davis said that after talking to staff “we’ve gotten a picture from their perspective of what is happening in this fight against the virus. It’s bleak.”
We look forward to seeing what Mr Davis intends to do to remedy the situation, what resources he intends to make available to our healthcare system, and how he intends to press home the messages on vaccination and how to prevent the spread of the virus.
The situation is indeed bleak already. We cannot afford to let it get any worse.