NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames.
By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames said former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest made the “honourable” decision to resign in the best interest of his family and the government.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event at United Faith Ministries, Mr Dames said the East Grand Bahama MP is “not only a colleague, he’s been a friend for an awful long time” and someone that he is praying for.
“I had an opportunity to speak to the Deputy Prime Minister yesterday morning while at the House of Assembly.
“My family is praying for him and his family as they go through this experience right now in their lives and you know all I’m concerned about is that, you know, he and his family find some solace and peace at the end of the day.”
He added: “He made the decision in the best interest of he and his family and certainly as he would’ve noted, he doesn’t want this to bring any attention to what we need to do as a government and as a people in this country and I think that’s honourable on his part. Maybe that’s an example for many persons who continue to be out there calling for his head, you know. They need to take a page (out of his book).”
Mr Turnquest’s resignation on Wednesday came after he was named in a Supreme Court lawsuit relating to an alleged $27m fraud. Although he was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit and maintains his innocence, there were intense calls for him to step down.
Mr Turnquest explained in a statement why he offered his resignation, which the Prime Minister accepted.
“As a consequence of all the unfounded and untrue claims that have been circulating in the mainstream press as well as in social media, to protect my family, and in the best interest of my constituency and my party, I have offered my resignation as deputy prime minister and minister of finance to the prime minister with immediate effect,” the statement read.
Mr Turnquest added: “When I met with the Prime Minister today, I informed him that while I am confident my reputation of transparency and accountability will be vindicated once the allegations against me have been fully ventilated through the courts, I did not want a private business dispute, which occurred prior to my taking public office, to become a distraction to the government, or to the important national work that lies ahead.”
Mr Turnquest is the third Cabinet minister in the Minnis administration to resign.