Speaker Dr. Kendal Major told Parliament that the head of state had been written to informing her of their decision not to support Minnis.
In a statement, Minnis said that he is recommending to the FNM National Executive “that the disciplinary provisions of Article 53 of the Constitution of the Free National Movement be invoked, and that if found to be required, a Disciplinary Tribunal be appointed and take whatever action it deems appropriate under the Constitution of the Free National Movement.”
Minnis said that the dissident legislators had written to the head of state “withdrawing their support for me as the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, and recommended the appointment of Mrs. Loretta Butler-Turner as Leader of the Opposition Members in Parliament.
“As a consequence of this, Mrs. Butler-Turner, if appointed by the Governor General, will, under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, have the responsibility for the conduct of Opposition Members in the House of Assembly.
“Let me be very clear that she is not and cannot as such be made leader of the Free National Movement. It is only the National Convention of the FNM or, in emergency circumstances, its Central Council that can elect the Leader of the Free National Movement.”
Minnis said that by this action, the FNM and Bahamians “were struck with a stunning usurpation of the very essence of the democratic right of a political organization to determine its leadership.
“In my view, the actions of seven FNM Members of the House of Assembly – by invoking their privilege under the Constitution of The Bahamas to choose their Leader in the House of Assembly – is a direct affront to the democratic conventions and traditions of the Free National Movement.
“It is tradition that the Leader of the Party, if elected to the House of Assembly, has always been appointed Leader of the Opposition. Their action is a slap in the face of the Party, and a slap in the face of democracy.”
The Opposition Leader said that he was inviting the” seven MPs who were elected under the banner of the FNM, and who signed the letter to the Governor General, to do the Honourable thing and resign from the Free National Movement”.
He insisted that the FNM is “sailing towards government” and that :”no mutineers will stop this vessel”.
Meanwhile, four Senators, including former attorney general Carl bethel, have resigned saying that they are in support of back Butler-Turner
“Pursuant to today’s events, I hereby tender my resignation from the Senate with immediate effect,” Bethel wrote.
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