NASSAU — Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham walked out the House of Assembly without delivering his highly-anticipated farewell address yesterday after Speaker of the House Dr. Kendal Major said he would not let him speak at the top of the agenda.
Major indicated that Ingraham would be allowed to give his speech later in the agenda.
Afterwards, the retiring North Abaco MP told The Nassau Guardian that the move not to let him speak first was a “PLP decision” and that he did not plan to return to Parliament again to say goodbye.
Ingraham accused Major of going back on his word.
“The speaker agreed that I would be allowed to speak at the point of the agenda that says resignation of members of the House, which is the first order of business in the House,” said Ingraham as he sat inside his SUV surrounded by a throng of supporters on Parliament Street.
“The speaker this morning changed his mind because he says that my resignation does not become effective until August 31, and therefore I have not yet resigned. That’s a bogus decision by the speaker; that’s a PLP decision.
“I issued to the press a copy of my [farewell] statement; I shan’t be coming back to the House. I thank The Bahamas very much.”
In the farewell speech, Ingraham traced his political career and highlighted various accomplishments during the 15 years he served as prime minister.
He also again accepted responsibility for his party’s recent loss at the polls.
When asked how he felt after he was not able to deliver his speech to Parliament, he said, “Yes I am disappointed, but that’s the reality. I’m out, they are in.”
After the House broke for the lunch recess, the speaker told reporters that if Ingraham’s resignation was effective yesterday he would have been given priority.
He also denied making any agreement with Ingraham to allow him to speak first yesterday.
“I made no such agreement,” he said on the steps of the House. “The agreement that I made is that the honorable member will speak on the sitting of Parliament.
“I did not lead him to believe that. I indicated to him in our brief moment of communication that he will be given an opportunity to speak.” (Nassau Guardian)