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McCartney resigns from FNM

Member of Parliament for Bamboo Town Branville McCartney resigned as a member of the Free National Movement(FNM)yesterday, more than a year after he resigned from the Cabinet.

McCartney said in a press statement that his decision to leave the FNM was a difficult one, but one that was necessary for his family and his own conscience.

“Over the past several months I have been taxed with the decision of determining the best way forward for the future for my family and me,”he said.

“It has been difficult to say the least, facing challenges which contradict my philosophy, convictions and values.

“I have prayed constantly for an answer to solve this dilemma and my prayers have been answered. I have made a conscious decision to sever my relationship with the Free National Movement.”

FNM Chairman Carl Bethel said yesterday the party did not pressure McCartney to leave.

McCartney recently made headlines for his unabashed criticism of the Ingraham administration and caused a great deal of controversy when he said publicly that Ingraham”lacks compassion.”

He suggested in his statement, however, that his decision to leave the FNM is not awash in rancor, and that he would continue on as the representative for the constituency of Bamboo Town.

“I want to state clearly that this decision is not coded in any way with animosity of any kind toward the leadership or members of the party, but a decision out of the need to satisfy my conscience,”he said.

“I realize that service above self is the greatest service one can give. I was happy to give my best at the executive level of government.

“Further, I fully intend to serve the constituents of Bamboo Town by continuing to provide the caliber of representation to which they have become accustomed.”

McCartney received a hero’s welcome from protestors outside the House of Assembly yesterday after tendering his resignation.

As people learned that he had resigned they hugged him and clapped for him as he walked along the street.

They were protesting the pending sale of 51 percent of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company to Cable and Wireless Communications.

McCartney was not in the House of Assembly yesterday when MPs voted on the bills connected to the sale, neither did he make a formal statement in Parliament.

The actual resolutions approving the sale will be voted on on Thursday. It is unclear whether McCartney intends to vote on those resolutions.

Progressive Liberal Party(PLP)Leader Perry Christie said at a press conference in the minority room of the House of Assembly that Bahamians should commend McCartney for demonstrating the courage to stand by his convictions.

“Having walked a similar path in a way at an earlier stage in my political career, I know how difficult it is to separate oneself from a political party to which one has been long affiliated with,”he said.

“But I think it is fair to say that given the timing and the fact that he chose this day and this debate to do it, indicates the nature of the principled decision he made.”

Christie suggested that the PLP would not be averse to having McCartney join the party.

McCartney would not say what his next move would be politically.

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