'Ashamed' PM should resign says BDM leader
Bahamas Democratic Movement Leader Cassius Stuart has called for the resignation of Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.
"We demand his resignation and we will accept it from Australia," Stuart said in a press release to the Guardian.
Ingraham left the capital on Thursday for Australia to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), a day after Bahamians rejected Government proposals to amend the Constitution during the country's first referendum exercise.
During a press conference broadcast live at the Cabinet Office, Ingraham said he was "ashamed," but accepted that the results constituted the will of the people.
"If you are ashamed of us, we invite you to seek asylum in Australia, which is perhaps the furthest point from The Bahamas and where you would no longer have to be ashamed," Stuart said. "How could the leader of a country suffer such a major defeat and still remain in his position?"
He argued that under the Westminster system, of which The Bahamas was a part, such a "crushing defeat" would have demanded a resignation.
"We told you no, now you should go," Stuart continued.
He took exception to Ingraham leaving the country at this time, and questioned how could a shepherd abandon his sheep when they were scattered.
"Is this a mark of a leader?" Stuart asked.
He suggested that whatever is being discussed at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting could have waited, or a representative could have appeared instead of the Prime Minister.
"Or shall we say the Prime Minister feels it's more important to be in Australia than in The Bahamas at this time. Or is he so ashamed of his people that he does not want to be among us," Stuart questioned.
"Well if this is the case, we encourage you again, to seek asylum in Australia where you could stick your head in the sand like the ostrich and be ashamed all by yourself," Stuart added.