Visibly absent from the meeting of the Senate on Thursday was leader of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), Branville McCartney, who later in the day released a statement, noting his resignation from the Senate.
McCartney was appointed to the Senate and named Official Leader of the Opposition Business in the Senate on December 12, 2016 by Loretta Butler-Turner, Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Assembly.
Butler-Turner, came into the post days prior after seven Free National Movement MPs, signed a letter to the Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, voicing their lack of confidence in FNM leader, Dr. Hubert Minnis.
During a press conference held immediately after his acceptance of the new post last year, Butler-Turner shared her reasons for choosing McCartney for the Senate position.
“He is a colleague that I have worked with, very closely, in the Cabinet of The Bahamas.”
She also noted that he has both parliamentary and leadership experience.
“He has the ability to ask the tough questions and we will be collaborating on every piece of legislation as we move forward, to ensure that we are able to keep the PLP’s foot to the fire and to make sure that they are transparent and accountable to the Bahamian people.”
Accepting his new post back in December, McCartney expressed, “We have a country to build. We have to do what is necessary to get a better country.
“Where we are today is not working, so I do accept the nomination for Senate Leader.”
He noted by being named Senate Leader, marked yet another historic move by Butler-Turner, placing another party leader, in the top opposition position within the Senate.
Prior to McCartney’s official press release, yesterday, rumors of his possible resignation as Senate leader circulated over various platforms of social media.
This daily contacted DNA candidate for Marco City, Nevar Smith, who verified that the rumors circulating of his party leader’s resignation from the Senate were in fact accurate.
Following is McCartney’s statement in its entirety.
“Every decision I have made since entering frontline politics has not been made lightly.
Whether it was to leave the FNM, to lead the DNA or most recently, to accept the post as Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, I have carefully and prayerfully considered my moves as a public figure.
It was no different when accepting the appointment as leader of Opposition business in the Senate.
I accepted with the understanding that the Democratic National Alliance was separate and apart from any other opposition force, but would lend its voice, ideas and strength in official opposition to this failed Christie administration.
Let the record reflect that when the electorate called for a more pragmatic opposition, the DNA was the first and only party to answer.
However, today I informed Her Excellency the Governor General that I am resigning my Senate post with immediate effect.
The leader of the official opposition has, unfortunately, only sown seeds of confusion since assuming her post, bringing no real leadership or focused ideas to the fore.
As leader of the DNA, in consultation with the executives of the party, I feel that we must now divest ourselves of the farce that has become the official opposition and fully direct our efforts to securing victory in the next general election.
Famed U.S. Astronaut Chris Hadfield once said leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about ‘keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter.’
By this standard, there currently exists no opposition party or personality in the House of Assembly that exemplifies the traits of true leadership.
Change clearly will not come from within; to that end we must continue our mission to effect change from outside Parliament until elections are held.
To the people of The Bahamas, we say that if you want a government serious about fighting crime and putting the fear of God into these savage criminals who apparently have free reign on our streets, look to the DNA; if you want an end to this corruption that pollutes and perverts governance in our country, look to the DNA; if you want real accountability for where in the world our billions of tax dollars have been funneled without our knowledge, look to the DNA; if you want a government that stands for you and will return power and prosperity to the rightful owners of The Bahamas, look to the DNA.
I encourage all Bahamians to register to vote and come with us to rid ourselves of the poisonous yoke of the failed parties that have brought this country to its knees.
To our supporters throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the mission has not changed. The goal has not changed. Our resolve has not changed. We will continue working day and night to provide a worthy alternative to the dysfunctional status quo. It was an honor to once again represent the Bahamian people, however briefly, but it is clear a DNA will better serve the Bahamian people not complicit in the dysfunction that hobbles Parliament at this time.
The Bahamian people deserve better, and better is in your DNA. May God protect and keep the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”
Published Friday, March 3, 2017