|DPM: Ingraham is ‘bitter’|
Guardian Senior Reporter
Published: Jul 21, 2012
After former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham on Thursday leveled a series of criticisms of the governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis has said that his former law partner is “bitter” and should stay out of public commentary if he is leaving public office.
“He’s always been a person unable to accept rejection, defeat or criticism,” Davis told The Nassau Guardian yesterday.
“This is his reaction to it. He is what he is. He is revealing what he is – an ungracious, uncouth person.”
At a news conference at the House of Assembly after handing in his resignation as a member of Parliament on Thursday, Ingraham criticized the government on its proposed gambling referendum, Urban Renewal 2.0 and other issues. His resignation takes effect on August 31.
Ingraham suggested that the government was rushing the referendum to satisfy the illegal numbers house operators and said the option of casino gaming should be included on the gambling ballot.
He added that he would not have held a referendum on gaming without including the question of legalizing casino gambling for Bahamians.
Prime Minister Perry Christie has said that casino gambling will not be included in the proposed referendum. On the referendum ballot, he said, there will only be two options: establishing a national lottery or legalizing numbers houses.
Ingraham further alleged that the PLP received financing from illegal numbers house operators before the election and that the referendum will be some sort of payback.
Davis, however, charged that the Ingraham administration negotiated with numbers house operators when last in office.
“He struck a deal with the web shop bosses and reneged on a deal he made with them,” Davis said. “We didn’t strike any deal. What we have done is we understand the hypocrisy that exists in our society where on the one hand we say we want to be law abiding, and on the other hand more than 60 percent of people are engaged in [illegal] activity.”
In 2010, the Ingraham administration considered legalizing gambling for Bahamians and legal residents. However, it did not make the change to the country’s gambling laws after opposition from the religious community.
The PLP released a statement on Thursday also condemning Ingraham for his remarks in the House.
The governing party said the North Abaco MP lacked the “courage and conviction” to deal with the issue of legalizing gambling during his last term as prime minister.
“The whole world is hearing for the first time that if the FNM was returned to government on May 7 he, Ingraham, would have placed the question of casino gambling before the Bahamian people,” said the PLP. “Ingraham comes across as not being forthright with the Bahamian people.”
The PLP also condemned the North Abaco MP for his “attack” on Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade.
Ingraham accused Greenslade of adopting a new tone as it relates to the Urban Renewal program since the PLP came into office.
“There is an unwritten convention that politicians should never attack public servants because their role is to carry out government policy,” the PLP said. “Ingraham violated this ethos and the PLP roundly condemns him for this.”