PM on Politics
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, who recently indicated that he would seek re-election, admitted that he might be staying on too long as party leader, but insisted that comparisons between himself and the late Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling are not fair and are inaccurate.
He said he does not feel threatened by anyone would wishes to contend for the leadership position of the Free National Movement.
“It might possible that I may be staying too long,”he said responding to a question on whether he thought the time had come for him to step down.
“I chose to go after two terms and did go,”added Ingraham who was a guest on Star 106 radio show Jeffery on Monday evening.”The people sent for me. They elected me. I agreed to serve. People want to continue. I have agreed to offer myself. If they chose to elect me, I will serve if they don’t I will thank them, show my gratitude and enduring love for them because they gave me opportunities I couldn’t dream of having.
“I am here because they want me to be here. Quite frankly if I had a choice to make I would probably not be here. I would have probably chose to stay away at the end of my second term.”
Ingraham announced a little over two weeks ago that he will seek a fourth term as prime minister. If Ingraham wins the next general election, by the end of that term he would have served as prime minister for nearly 20 years. In the run up to the 1992 general election, Ingraham was critical of Sir Lynden Pindling for staying on for a long period of time as PM. Sir Lynden served in the post for 25 and a half consecutive years.
Ingraham explained earlier this month that his party would like him to carry on. Secondly, he said there are a number of things that the FNM hoped to undertake during this term in office that it would be unable to do because of the economic circumstance and condition.
Ingraham said he will not fight to remain in the position.
“My party has only got to hint to me that they want somebody else to lead them. They don’t have to speak to me loudly . Just a hint-I will pick my Georgie bundle up and go to Croton Avenue where I live and take my boat and go fishing from time to time and spend some time in my house in Abaco. I will fight no one for this job,”Ingraham said.
Asked whether he was preparing anyone in the party to take over when he retires for good, Ingraham said he is constantly attracting new talent.
He said that is also the reason e has such a large Cabinet-to expose as many young people to governance.
Ingraham said he wants the public to have choices on who they want to make leader of the FNM and hopefully prime minister of The Bahamas.
“Unlike others like Sir Lynden, I don’t feel threatened by anyone,” he continued.”I don’t have any difficulty with those who have different points of view. If they think I should go that’s fine, they get no retribution from me, no condemnation for it. In fact I told Bran that I hope he’s around when its time for me to go-and to be able to catch the ball. And I mean that for him or anybody else.”
McCartney has indicated that he intends to run for the leadership position of the party on many occasions. It is expected that during the next FNM convention he will be nominated to run.
Ingraham said if there this any significant element in the party that prefers for someone else to lead them, he will regard it as his duty relieve them from any obligation to have to ask him.
“I will volunteer to depart in peace,”he said.