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Ingraham backing Duane Sands as new FNM Chairman

Former Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands will nominate for the position of Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman on Monday morning, with the blessing of Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.

Had Sands been successful in reclaiming his Elizabeth seat in the House of Assembly in the 2021 General Election, Ingraham would’ve backed him as FNM leader.

However, party members did not want a leader who is not in the lower chamber. Therefore, Sands, who has aspirations of being prime minister one day, settled for challenging the chairmanship position instead.

Ingraham, who took a back seat during the four years of the Minnis Administration, has a soft spot for Sands who was asked by then-Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to resign as health minister over a scandal at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ingraham refused to campaign for the Minnis-led FNM ahead of the September 16 General Election. However, he made an appearance in the Elizabeth constituency days before the election in a push to get Sands re-elected.

“He’s a good man and I think he deserves to be elected. He’s had a similar experience I’ve had, you know. I used to be a minister before; I got fired. I got elected to the House and I became prime minister. Hopefully, he can have the same experience,” Ingraham said at the time.

Ingraham introduced Sands to frontline politics when he handpicked him as the FNM candidate in the 2010 Elizabeth by-election. Sands was defeated by PLP candidate Ryan Pinder.

Just as he encouraged his so-called “Ingrahamites” to get rid of Minnis and vote for Marco City MP Michael Pintard as FNM leader during the party’s one-day convention in November, Ingraham has spared no effort to get Sands elected as chairman.

It is believed he would be a better person to articulately defend the party’s record than current chairman, the dithering Carl Culmer, who has put his foot in his mouth on far too many occasions.

One-time Golden Gates MP Michael Foulkes nominated for the chairmanship last week but insiders predict he doesn’t stand a chance.

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