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FNM shocked as Lewis joins Coalition protest of Immigration Minister

CENTRAL Grand Bahama MP Iram Lewis joined a Coalition of Independents protest outside the Office
of the Prime Minister yesterday calling for the firing of Immigration Minister Keith Bell.
Photo: Moise Amisial

CENTRAL Grand Bahama MP Iram Lewis joined a Coalition of Independents protest outside the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday calling for the firing of Immigration Minister Keith Bell. Photo: Moise Amisial

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Leader of the Coalition of Independents Lincoln Bain speaks outside of the Office of The Prime Minister alongside supporters in protest yesterday. Photos: Mia Gardner

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Attorney Maria Daxon raises documents after Coalition of Independents leader Lincoln Brian speaks at the Office of the Prime Minister.

By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS

Tribune Staff Reporter

lmunnings@tribunemedia.net

CENTRAL Grand Bahama MP Iram Lewis raised eyebrows in the Free National Movement yesterday when he joined members of the Coalition of Independents at a protest demanding the resignation of Immigration Minister Keith Bell. 

Although the FNM has also called for Mr Bell’s resignation and believes the Davis administration has inadequately addressed concerns about the actions he took at a recent funeral, the major political parties have been careful to distance themselves from Lincoln Bain’s movement, fearing its immigration rhetoric and views are too extreme.

Mr Lewis’ appearance alongside COI members shocked some in the FNM, according to three sources who said people found it ill-advised.

“I’m here totally in solidarity with this move because, again, it’s not about colours. It is about The Bahamas,” Mr Lewis said, standing next to Mr Bain near the Office of the Prime Minister.

“I travel all over the world, and there’s no country like The Bahamas. We cannot afford to lose our country. What I heard my brother say this morning was not a xenophobic speech. It was not a hatred speech. It was a speech of empowerment for The Bahamas.”

He added: “Unless we stand up and do something now, we are going to lose it and our children will have nothing to look forward to.”

Mr Bell granted citizenship to the wife and children of Franck Racine during his funeral last month, fulfilling Racine’s dying wish.

He was criticised for his unorthodox action, but the Davis administration said he broke no law and that Cabinet approved citizenship for the people.

Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper said yesterday that Mr Bell still has the confidence of Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis.

During yesterday’s protest, Davis Davis, the permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, signed Mr Bain’s letter calling for Mr Bell to be terminated as a way to confirm receipt of the document.

The FNM demanded Mr Bell’s resignation during protests on Thursday and Friday. Mr Lewis did not attend the events.

He said yesterday: “As I am empowered, as I do have a voice and a platform, I have made a decision to stand in solidarity with my brothers and sisters on behalf of our country.”

Comments

moncurcool 1 year ago

the major political parties have been careful to distance themselves from Lincoln Bain’s movement, fearing its immigration rhetoric and views are too extreme.

Somehow I doubt the validity of this statement.

Baha10 1 year ago

Do not understand how “Comments” are permitted on this Story, but not that announcing the newly self anointed Prime Minister of Abaco, which would seem far more interesting

stillwaters 1 year ago

It's almost as if Cornish is untouchable.... and he seems to know it. Nobody is supposed to comment on the garbage that came out of his mouth on live broadcasts?????

LastManStanding 1 year ago

Legal concerns are the most likely reason.

birdiestrachan 1 year ago

Give them time, he will be attacked , just mischief here there and every where, but they have nothing constructive to offer,

TalRussell 1 year ago

....Well, yes. — A short introduction into the somehow, — As to why it is that the — Strangest of our colony's characters', — Politically manages to make their way to others' — Shared characteristics'. — Ain't long before Abacos', newly self-ordained premiership, hooks up, turning them into a, — Trio.

LastManStanding 1 year ago

The FNM is about as useless as a wet paper bag when it comes to being effective as an opposition. Lincoln has made more waves in challenging the government without even having a seat in Parliament; he is a far more effective campaigner than anyone in the PLP or FNM right now.

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