The lady who was once the second most powerful force in the Free National Movement, was frank and reflective in an exclusive interview recently with The Freeport News.
“I don’t have any thoughts at this time about politics. I am very disappointed in the direction this country is going, but I am out of that,” said former Member of Parliament, Long Island, and past deputy leader of the Free National Movement, Loretta Butler-Turner.
During a telephone interview with Butler-Turner, she addressed a number questions put to her about national issues, the FNM and its leader, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.
Acknowledging that at the moment she has no alignment with any political organization, Butler-Turner says as FNM Deputy Leader she tried many times to give the Prime Minister Dr. Minnis (then leader of the Official Opposition FNM), sound advice.
“Dr. Hubert Minnis does not take good advice.
“As his deputy I tried many times and he takes advice and does what he sees fit, that is the bottom line.
“That’s why the country is probably where it is at.
“Currently I am not aligned with any political organization.
“When I ran as an independent, obviously my affiliation with the Free National Movement would’ve been severed.
“As soon as you run against them, they sort of banish you from the party (I guess). I am not aligned with any political organization.
“I have just been living my life as a private citizen, essentially, since I lost.
“Before I entered politics, I was a professional and of course I have a husband and adult children and there were things I enjoyed doing and so I am pretty much doing many of those things.
“I am rebalancing and reprioritizing things in my life, and basically that is what I have been doing for the last two years,” she informed.
The granddaughter of the late noted first Bahamian Governor General in an independent Bahamas, pioneer, Majority Rule advocate, Sir Milo Butler, she made history in 2016 by leading a movement within the FNM that ousted Dr. Minnis as the Official Opposition Leader. Butler-Turner replaced him.
She thus became the first and so far, only, female Official Opposition Leader in Bahamian political history.
These days, she sits back and assesses the political arena.
Butler-Turner says there is no clear distinction between the two (leading) political parties, that she calls ‘dinosaurs.’
“I don’t know what the future holds, but I can tell you that from where I sit, people are not enamored with the FNM as it is today, or with the PLP as it is.
“I think the next election will be a very difficult decision for the people. Will they stay with the status quo of the FNM and continue to go on this downward spiral, where they truly have been misled about ‘It’s the People’s Time’ because obviously there is little being done for the people?
“The next question is, are they going to go back to the same old same old PLP?
“Those are very important decisions that Bahamians are thinking about right now and quite frankly, the choice is not clear.
“It is very muddy, there is no clear distinction between these two dinosaurs.
“I keep calling them dinosaurs, male oriented, none progressive political parties.
“The people voted for the Free National Movement. That’s the government we are under and like it or not, that’s where we are at.
“At this point, I guess like most people, we have got to grin and bear the consequences of the voice of the people,” said Butler-Turner.
(This is but the first article from the wide-ranging interview. Others will be published on an ongoing basis over the next week).