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No Resignation Yet From leader of the Bahamas Official Opposition, Alvin Smith














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One Week After Vote, Still No Resignation From Smith

 

 

 

 

 

By Candia Dames

candiadames@hotmail.com

Nassau, Bahamas

7 October 2005

 

 

 

 

Free National Movement Leader Senator Tommy Turnquest on Thursday expressed a great deal of uncertainty regarding whether former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham will become the new leader of the Official Opposition.

 

Asked whether the plan is still to replace Alvin Smith as the FNM’s parliamentary leader, Senator Turnquest responded, "I have no idea."

 

But he added, "When I say I have no idea, I don’t mean it in the sense that I don’t have a clue. I know that it is the desire of the [FNM] members of parliament to have Mr. Ingraham be the leader of the Opposition."

 

One week after the FNM MP’s won the Council’s support in their bid to replace Mr. Smith as the leader, Mr. Turnquest said he has not had an opportunity to talk to Mr. Ingraham about the matter.

 

Mr. Ingraham has declined to speak with reporters regarding whether he will accept the position.

 

Montagu MP Brent Symonette, who also spoke with The Bahama Journal on Thursday, said the MP’s still fully expect Mr. Ingraham to become their leader in the House.

 

"We are currently working out the logistics of having Mr. Ingraham sworn in as leader," he said, adding that the MP’s plan to meet with the former prime minister sometime next week.

 

Up to Thursday, Mr. Smith still had not resigned. Earlier in the week, he said he had planned to meet with the former prime minister.

 

Mr. Symonette has said that the issue is an internal FNM matter. That statement came on Wednesday in the House of Assembly in response to charges made by Independent MP Tennyson Wells that the country was facing a constitutional crisis given that Mr. Smith still had not resigned.

 

Prime Minister Perry Christie branded the whole process a disgraceful obscenity.

 

On Thursday, Senator Turnquest expressed disappointment that the FNM had allowed such a private matter to become the subject of such scathing public attacks.

 

"Many of our supporters are disappointed at the way our business is being conducted in the media," he added.

 

"It is most unfortunate that the Free National Movement would air our internal differences in the public whereby we give the prime minister a soap box in which to talk about us and so I am very disappointed that we allowed such a thing to happen."

 

The prime minister had also said he was saddened and sorry about the way Senator Turnquest was being treated.

 

The FNM leader did not speak to this directly, but he said, "I believe that the whole question of allowing successive generations to play meaningful and vital roles are being challenged in some way and I think that we have to look at the situation in its totality with respect to our society."

 

Senator Turnquest again said Mr. Ingraham has told him that he has no plans to seek the leadership of the FNM again.

 

Asked whether Mr. Ingraham has expressed any desire to become the leader of the Official Opposition, Senator Turnquest said, "I don’t intend to discuss any more than that [from] my private discussions with Mr. Ingraham or for any other member of party."

 

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