Categorized | National News

Ingraham Was Right To Quit

Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham did the right thing by stepping down as Free National Movement (FNM) Leader and retiring from frontline politics, according to one top party official, who yesterday said the former leader would have been criticised either way for any decision he made.

On the night of the May 7 General Election once it became apparent that the FNM had lost, Mr. Ingraham took to a podium and announced that he was stepping down as leader and would not lead the North Abaco constituency, which he won seven consecutive times.

The announcement shocked many Bahamians, particularly North Abaco constituents who had just voted for and elected Mr. Ingraham hours earlier.

“I believe that history is going to be very kind to Hubert Ingraham when it comes to analysing how he left. I myself toyed with the approach for quite awhile, but on reflection I think he did the right thing on both counts,” Acting Chairman Darron Cash said yesterday.

“I was here in 2002 after we lost; it was a painful experience. Mr. Ingraham passed over the mantle of leadership to Tommy Turnquest and Dion Foulkes as the deputy and he stayed in Parliament. I think that in itself provided just tremendous amounts of intrigue. Would he come back, is he running things behind the scenes? So it is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation and it certainly was very difficult back then.”

Mr. Cash continued, “I think in 2012 Mr. Ingraham was cognizant of that reality. So, on the first count he did the right, decent thing that we do in parliamentary democracies. If you are the leader of an organisation after a major loss you step down as leader of the party. That’s what Perry Christie should have done after they lost in 2007. He chose not to do so, but that’s his decision.”

Regarding Mr. Ingraham’s decision to resign as a Member of Parliament, Mr. Cash said had he stayed on there would have been many questions as to how Dr. Minnis was performing as a leader and speculation as to whether Mr. Ingraham would return as party leader.

“I think he did the right thing by saying ‘I’m taking myself out of that equation completely’ so no one could say that he is just marking time before he came back. That’s why I say that history is going to be very kind to him that he took himself out of the equation and gave the new leader tremendous latitude in not having to worry about whether he would come back.”

Mr. Ingraham has served for three non-consecutive terms as prime minister.

He was first elected to Parliament in 1977.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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