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Ingraham ‘Not Coming Back’

Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham

Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham

By TANEKA THOMPSON

Tribune News Editor

tmthompson@tribunemedia.net

FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson said he does not believe that Hubert Ingraham plans to leave retirement and wrest the leadership of the Free National Movement from current leader Dr Hubert Minnis.

Mr Watson told The Tribune that persistent rumours that the former prime minister is eyeing a stealthy political comeback are fueled by ardent supporters of Mr Ingraham and also those in the Progressive Liberal Party who want to make the current leadership “insecure.”

He added that the Free National Movement (FNM) must focus on “new leadership,” something he said the country wants.

Mr Watson served as deputy prime minister in a previous Ingraham administration and is a friend of the former prime minister.

Despite Mr Ingraham’s withdrawal from the political arena, there is a big faction within the official opposition that is pushing for him to make another election bid.

“They want him to come back, that’s the only reason (for the rumours), they want him to come back but no, I don’t think he is coming,” Mr Watson told The Tribune. “The last time I spoke to him, he wasn’t even thinking about it.”

“There are always people who want Mr Ingraham back,” he added. “They like his style of governing and so they would like to see him back, but I think he has done as much as he wants to do.”

Instead of turning to the past, Mr Watson said: “I think we have to go with a new leader this time. I don’t think we have much choice, I think the country wants new leadership.”

He added that the unrelenting speculation over Mr Ingraham’s political future is partly fuelled by mischievous members of the PLP.

“They’ll be muddying the water and trying to make the leader (Dr Minnis) insecure. To my knowledge, there is no truth to it.”

Last week, Mr Watson grabbed headlines after he told The Nassau Guardian that the opposition is not yet ready for the next general election. At the time, he also suggested that Dr Minnis was not a fully formed leader and is a “work in progress.” Mr Watson also said that Dr Minnis had not been receptive to the advise of senior members of the FNM.

When asked if he and Dr Minnis have spoken since his public critique of the Killarney MP, Mr Watson said: “We’re talking.”

He did not say how Dr Minnis responded to his harsh words.

“We really didn’t go into that so much, we talked about how we could make the party more effective.”

However, Mr Watson said since publicly airing his views on Dr Minnis’ leadership style, the former health minister has been more open to recommendations from seasoned politicians.

“Not only me, I think he is more receptive to people with a little more political acumen, people who have been in the trenches and have experience. I think so.”

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Perry Christie delivered his anticipated 2015/2016 Budget Communication, which was unveiled under the theme “Building a Stronger Bahamas”. That same day the government launched a new website to facilitate national discussion on pertinent issues and highlight the work of the Christie administration.

Some observers, including Mr Watson, see this as the groundwork for the PLP’s 2017 general election campaign.

In order to have a fighting chance against the heavy artillery of an incumbent government in an election battle, Mr Watson said the official opposition must work together.

“What the FNM has to do, and is now trying to do, is to build a cohesive organisation, get all the FNMs on board and working and go out and meet the people,” he said.

Mr Ingraham retired from politics shortly after his party lost the 2012 general election. However since then, there has been repeated speculation that he plans to return as leader of the party, with some expecting him to mirror a move he made in 2005 when he seized the reins of the FNM from then-leader Tommy Turnquest.

Comments

Emac 5 years ago

It is totally embarrassing for our country for this to even be a rumor. If this is the state that the Bahamas is in now then it would have been better if we had simply stayed under the British. There are bright minds out there. Bahamians need to stop thinking about the past and the old way of doing things, and move forward with the rest of the world.

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Reality_Check 5 years ago

You are so right on this point. Ingraham is just as culpable as Christie is for the political and public sector mess the Bahamas finds itself in today. These two dinosaurs (Christie and Ingraham) are from a political era that has long since gone and consequently their way of politics is very much ill-suited, and in fact contrary, to what needs to be achieved or accomplished by the Bahamas politically in today's world for the benefit of generations of Bahamians to come.

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ScullyUFO 5 years ago

Make the Bahamas a Province of Canada. Under the Canadian transfer payment scheme, the Bahamas would benefit enormously. There would be a huge influx of Canadian tourism. The RCMP would research and squash any old-boy corruption in a hurry.

The Bahamian culture would remain intact. Look at Quebec to see how that works.

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ohdrap4 5 years ago

make it a province of venezuela.

free oil and price control, now we're talking.

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proudloudandfnm 5 years ago

It would be a great help if Ingraham would put out a press release stating he has no desire to come back. End this nonsense once and for all...

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Reality_Check 5 years ago

The problem my friend is Minnis.....not Ingraham. Minnis is not a politician at heart and certainly is no political leader and never will be one. The people know this and the seeds of discontentment with his political career to date have been planted everywhere. If the FNM leadership does not soon wake up to this fact, they will find all of these seeds sprouting up into a full fledged firestorm of voter discontentment with the FNM in the run up to the next general election. Christie and the PLP will hands down win the next general election if the FNM fails to put forward a new leader 40-55 years of age with the political smarts, charisma, intelligence, ego and fire in the belly desire to lead and make changes for the better of all Bahamians. Minnis is anything but this much needed person no matter how hard he may try to emulate these qualities. He's simply too uncomfortable in his own skin which manifests itself anytime he is required to think quickly on his feet. This is typically indicative of an individual who does not have strong feelings, principles or convictions one way or the other and consequently must spend too much time thinking and worrying about what others may think or say about whatever he has to say. A true political leader is born to the task and can never be trained to it!

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TalRussell 5 years ago

Comrades did Watzie actually say, or did the reporter just decide writes; “They’ll be muddying the water and trying to make the leader (Dr Minnis) insecure. To my knowledge, there is no truth to it.” Wasn't it Watzie he self, who just days ago went media public to question the viability leading into 2017 of his red party's leader Minnis? Watzie says his beloved Papa ain't in mood unseat Minnis...wink, wink?
Minnis you must trust Comrade Tal, you would have be a total ass, not to feel equally Watzie insecure as a Loretta insecure. The two them comes equally qualified as da prince and princess, of stir da shi* pot.

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ObserverOfChaos 5 years ago

Wow, finally ONE SMART BAHAMIAN! Or he figures the nation is in such sad state he can't or won't be successful in turning around?

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Tommy77 5 years ago

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EnoughIsEnough 5 years ago

i sure hope ingraham doesn't come back. and i'm glad Dr. Minnis is not listening to the senior FNM politicians. Tired of the way the old boys do things - that's what has been killing this country. we need to approach the running of this country differently and hopefully that is what Minnis will be doing. I've heard some of his plans for this country and they are exactly what we need to happen. i was completely surprised when he spoke of some of the changes he wants to make. it will sure shake things up around here but again, that's what we need. tired of the same old nonsense.

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Girly 5 years ago

Good for him. I would relax too. No more stress and worries.

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Economist 5 years ago

Ingraham should confirm that he "will" not return.

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TalRussell 5 years ago

Comrade Economist I could have sworn once before Papa had confirmed and reconfirmed how Tommy T, was the new and fresh leader his red party and he would not be returning to active politics? You must be some kind lips reader to read that is what Papa really means for 2017. Truth is, Papa ain't no longer got's much of a stomach sit up in House as opposition leader - it all or nothing for Papa Hubert. Did i get this right?

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FNM_Retards 5 years ago

Bring KING PAPA back lol.

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GrassRoot 5 years ago

"FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson said he does not believe that Hubert Ingraham plans to leave retirement " - what a statement to waste ink and paper. Did anybody bother to call Mr. Ingraham and ask or confirm? Or is Frank Watson his official communications manager?

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Publius 5 years ago

Precisely. Makes you wonder about the Tribune's motives from a journalistic standpoint.

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Alltoomuch 5 years ago

After seeing what a tremendous disappointment all the bright new blood in the PLP have been (and I did have such high hopes from them all!!) Really thought a change would be coming! Biggest upset was the death of Charles Maynard. Where is the hope for the future? Do we have anyone who can lead this country well?

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FNM_Retards 5 years ago

All hope was lost when PAPA was reelected back in 2007 after already being in power for 10 years. If its not PING its PAPA or some other clown. Bahamians love being slaves. in 40 years there were only 3 men that could "run" this country into the ground? Surely there are many more that could do as crappy a job as them.

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TalRussell 5 years ago

Comrade you say Charles Maynard, who? If I may, I stand on point of clarification, him was neither new or a shining example of a leader. Or, did I miss something I should've, Maynardship?

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Alltoomuch 5 years ago

and what about Christie being re-elected in 2012 and all his promises = Bahamas for Bahamians?? You see that???

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FNM_Retards 5 years ago

What about that? He had 1 term = 5 years. What about dummies voting for PAPA again after 15 years of mismanagement, 15 years of corruption, 15 years of giving away the Bahamas to foreigners, 15 years of lies and false promises??? I bet you was one of those FNM retards. Christie may suck as a leader but PAPA sucked even more, and for longer. Both of them sold the Bahamas to foreigners.

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Cas0072 5 years ago

It is sad when people yearn for the good ole days that were only slighty better, especially now that it is becoming apparent that the mismanagement of the FNM and PLP have put us on a worst case trajectory in terms of the economy, education, and immigration. We should run from the prospect of putting any of these people back in office.

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SP 5 years ago

YOUR RESULTANT INBREEDING IS A REDNECK WINDFALL

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duppyVAT 5 years ago

Why does Frank Watson not throw his hand in the ring if he has so much regrets about Hubert Minnis style of leadership ..................... but then again he is only an ass-licker himself

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licks2 5 years ago

Frank Watson's statement makes me take another look at Minnis. "He will not allow older party members to tell him what to do". . .or something like that to be précis. Y a mean to tell me they have a problem with the leader who does not cow-tow to every wind of doctrine?? He seems to have dumped the old guard like he said to HI during the Abaco bi-election. . .namely, "HI needs to get out of the way. . .his time is done. . .I am the leader"!

In my book he seems to be holding down his ground in the face of a vicious onslaught my his "all-for-me-baby" cronnies in his party!! Many persons who know him tell that he is "Pindling-like" in his ability to organize manuvour and inspire the troops in the background. . .THE SAME REASON HE WAS PICKED AND STILL SUPPORTED BY HI!!

If it time for a major change in the national life. . .we can't insist that we must have a leader as usual. . .THE ONLY REQUIREMENT IS THAT HE CAN TALK GOOD!!! I AM FOR A STRONGER BAHAMAS. . .STARTING WITH GETTING RID OF THE OLD GUARD!!!

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