Friday, December 9, 2011

Kenneth Russell: Minister of Housing and Member of Parliament for High Rock was fired from Hubert Ingraham's Cabinet


Tribune242 Chief Reporter

MINISTER of Housing and Member of Parliament for High Rock Kenneth Russell was fired from the Cabinet of the Bahamas at 9.30am today, The Tribune can report.
According to party insiders, Mr Russell’s termination came as a result of him “breaking Cabinet protocol” and allegedly discussing Cabinet decisions in the media. Reportedly Mr Russell’s challenge to his party leader, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, that he would be running in High Rock despite his party’s wishes was the “final straw”.
The Minister of Works and Transport, Neko Grant, will now take over responsibility of the Ministry of Housing.
FNM Chairman Carl Bethel told The Tribune yesterday that he could not comment on Mr Russell’s termination as it was a Cabinet decision and “not a party matter”.
However, PLP MP for Fox Hill  Fred Mitchell said that there is no question that the FNM Cabinet has “collapsed”.
Claiming that there is a tremendous amount of resentment in the FNM, Mr Mitchell called on Mr Russell, Clifton MP Kendal Wright and Eight Mile Rock MP Verna Grant to join with the PLP and vote Mr Ingraham out of office. 
“The handwriting has been on the wall for days, the collapse of the FNM Cabinet as we knew it. Constitutionally, the position has now been regularised with the dismissal of Kenneth Russell from the Cabinet,” Mr Mitchell said.
Recalling his earlier statements published in The Tribune, Mr Mitchell said that he questioned how Mr Russell could remain in the Cabinet given the fact that he publicly dissented from a decision of the Cabinet and was chastised by the Prime Minister for doing so in the House of Assembly.
“I understand that the situation became more untenable for the former Minister when he made his position pellucidly clear about opposing the will of the Prime Minister at the meeting of the party held last evening in Freeport,” Mr Mitchell added.
“The Prime Minister acted this morning to dismiss him once he heard the content of his comments. Mr Ingraham had to act to help to frighten the other troops and keep them in line. My concern is for the stability of the government and ultimately the country. What we see happening is only the tip of the iceberg, a desperate attempt by the Prime Minister to save himself.
“This is 2002 revisited. Firing ministers, attacking his own people. Mr Russell, Kendal Wright and Verna Grant should join us in the PLP and vote Mr Ingraham out. The government is operating on a knife’s edge. It is time for the Prime Minister to go to the people and put himself out his misery and allow the PLP the opportunity to govern. I remind the Prime Minister that in the circumstances when the new Parliament meets, the maxim will be: the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Mr Mitchell said.

 December 09, 2011