Russell takes seat as backbencher, ponders next move
Despite Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham declaring that he and fired Housing Minister Kenneth Russell remain friends, Russell said yesterday the problems between them may never be resolved.
Ingraham fired Russell from the cabinet on Friday.
On Sunday, Ingraham suggested that Russell, the MP for High Rock, acted inappropriately as it relates to a development that was being proposed for East Grand Bahama.
Asked if he has decided whether he would run as an independent candidate, Russell said yesterday he has yet to make up his mind.
“I haven’t reached that bridge yet,” he told reporters outside the House of Assembly.
“When I reach that crossroad I’ll make a decision. I don’t know what I am going to do yet because I [went] to a meeting with FNMs last night (Sunday).
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m an FNM. Until some other things happen I will remain that. If those persons who spoke at me, would talk to me then we may resolve this issue. If those persons who speak to me continue to talk at me then the issue will never be resolved and I may go into the sunset without it being resolved or I may do something else. I don’t know.”
During the proceedings in the House of Assembly, Russell sat on the back bench instead of next to Ingraham, where he has sat since the FNM came to power again in 2007.
It was the first time Parliament met since Russell was fired. The front bench is usually reserved for ministers.
Russell now sits next to Blue Hills MP Sidney Collie, who resigned as minister of local government in 2008 as a result of botched local government elections.
Asked whether he will fight for an FNM nomination in the new East Grand Bahama constituency, Russell said it “all depends”.
“We have to look at all the facts and factors and make an intelligent decision on the way forward,” Russell said.
“I am talking to people; they are calling me and they are telling me they support me and support whatever action I decide I’m going to take. But it takes a little more than people just saying ‘I am going to support you’.
“It takes a lot to mount a campaign — finances, I don’t think is a problem, but it takes a lot in terms of manpower and people and so forth.”
Ingraham intimated on Sunday in Grand Bahama that Russell was fired because he discussed Cabinet discussions with an outside party.
However, Russell denied that claim.
“Rather than talking we are fighting,” he said.
“And I’m being made to look like a villain. If that continues then we may have to do something else.”
The former minister added that his constituents are divided over whether he should run in the next election.
Russell said he intended to make a statement in the House of Assembly yesterday, however he said the rules of the House prevented that.
However, he said he still intends to make that statement.