Russell warns FNM could lose votes if he does not run
High Rock MP Kenneth Russell charged yesterday that there is a faction in the Free National Movement (FNM) that is trying to “kick him out for their personal gain” and warned that the party stands to lose hundreds of votes in Grand Bahama if he is not renominated.
Russell’s comments came amid claims that he may not be renominated to run on the Free National Movement’s ticket in the upcoming general election.
“I am still running as far as I am concerned for the constituency of East Grand Bahama,” Russell told The Nassau Guardian yesterday.
“When the party gets together and makes the decision, if the party says otherwise well we will see what happens after that. But as of now I’m still running.
“There is a group in the FNM who are trying to push me out. But I will not allow them to do it because it is wrong. I have served the party well. I was in the House of Assembly when there was only five of us during the last administration. And I thought I did a wonderful job.”
Russell said his ministry has surpassed the goals that the government set for it. He said the government asked the Ministry of Housing to build 600 homes and service lots.
Russell said by the end of the term, the ministry would have built more than 800 homes and lots.
“So I think that I have done a good job for the party, and a good job for the government,” he said.
“And I do believe that the move to kick out Ken Russell is a personal move to help some other persons who certain factions of the party want sitting in Parliament.”
Asked to reveal his plans if he does not receive the nomination, Russell said he would cross that bridge if he gets there.
However, he warned that his constituents would not respond well to the news if he is not renominated.
“I got a phone call from one of them and the message that they gave me is that I should pass the message on and say that ‘while the constituency might be a strong base for the FNM, that does not mean that Ken Russell does not have personal support in the constituency’,” Russell said.
“And they believe that that personal support would add to hundreds if not thousands of persons. If the FNM wants one person to cause them to lose hundreds of votes in the constituency then that’s up to the FNM.”
Russell has been an MP in that area over the past 15 years.
He said he will meet with his constituents tonight and allow them to have their say.
“I will tell them the whole story — the pros and cons — so that they can make a decision on what they would like me to do then I will make a decision after I hear from them,” he added.
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said on Wednesday that not all of the members of Parliament who were elected on the Free National Movement’s ticket in 2007 will be renominated, as the party seeks to bring in fresh faces.
“The Free National Movement expects to be able to bring into the House and its parliamentary fold, a number of new persons,” Ingraham told reporters outside of the House of Assembly.
“The party is very grateful to all the people who served, but no job is permanent whether it’s mine or anybody else’s. We all have a season or a time and the party will do what it considers to be best.
“The party will have a recommendation from myself to the executive committee and if the committee goes along with it, then it will go to the council of the party and the council of the party will make a decision.”
Ingraham did not say whether Russell was one of those who would not be renominated.