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Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell charged yesterday that Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham should "butt out of PLP business" and stop making the general election "a contest about personalities when this election is about crime and unemployment".
Mitchell released a statement responding to comments Ingraham made minutes after he nominated in North Abaco on Tuesday.
The prime minister said PLPs have been downplaying their leader, Perry Christie, during their campaign and are instead pushing the party because "they don't want him".
"You can see that in the posters that they put up that they are seeking to push the PLP and seeking to hide Christie as much as they can, but we are not going to let Christie hide, we're going to put him up there," Ingraham said.
"And he makes all sorts of bogus statements that I'm going to lose my seat, what a joke."
Mitchell said the "insults" by the prime minister about Christie are evidence he is unfit to govern.
"Mr. Ingraham's comments at [the] nomination proceedings about the PLP and Mr. Christie are stupid," the statement read.
"They are false. He keeps trying to make this a contest about personalities when this election is about crime and unemployment and the failures of the Ingraham-led administration. I would invite him to cease and desist. Further, I invite him to mind his own business."
Mitchell also said the PLP elected Christie "fair and square" as its leader in open and democratic elections.
"This is something Mr. Ingraham now fails to do with regard to the choice of a deputy leader," he said.
"Mr. Ingraham is a one man band."
In response as to whether the FNM would elect a new deputy leader before the May 7 general election, Ingraham has repeatedly said he can stand on his own.
"I have an election to win," Ingraham told reporters recently. "The party has a leader."
Comments attributed to the minister of foreign affairs on the conduct of unmanned surveillance over The Bahamas and commented upon in your editorial of June 26 are woefully uninformed and reflect a Cabinet minister seemingly ignorant of his role and responsibilities.
I am especially surprised and disappointed that rather than using this occasion as an education moment The Nassau Guardian used its editorial to feed the irrational xenophobia so often promoted by segments of the present government to obscure their ineptitude and to "whip up" anti-foreign sentiments among our people.
Bilateral anti-criminal and specifically anti-drug and anti-human trafficking initiatives between our government and law-enforcement agencies with those of the United States of America government have a long and respected history. These are joint and or approved surveillance programs and not "spying", which would suggest unauthorized, and hence illegal, surveillance.
Particularly since the 1980s and the introduction of "Hot Pursuit" initiatives which placed Bahamian law enforcement personnel on U.S. Department of Defense and or U.S. Coast Guard vessels and craft to facilitate the interdiction and detention of criminals operating in and through The Bahamas, cooperation between our two countries has been critical to Bahamian anti-criminal initiatives, especially as regards countering the impact of sophisticated trans-national criminal organizations.
Even before that time the U.S. government had established a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) presence in The Bahamas. And the formalization of the Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) anti-drug initiative resulted in the stationing of DEA agents and helicopters in both New Providence and Exuma. Today, millions of dollars are being invested by the U.S. government in constructing improved facilities for joint U.S. and Bahamas defence force operations in Inagua.
And, as you may or may not be aware, The Bahamas government maintains a Bahamian police officer and a customs officer presence in its Miami consulate general and an immigration officer or defence force officer presence in its embassy in Haiti. None of this is done secretly or covertly but rather with the full knowledge of the host governments, although I do not think that these initiatives were the subject of public announcements to the Florida or Haitian public.
It is a matter of public record that The Bahamas served as host to two U.S. government surveillance balloons beginning in the mid-1980s. Indeed when plans to launch a third surveillance balloon was abandoned in the early 1990s because of prohibitive costs, the U.S. undertook, at the request of The Bahamas government, to continue to provide aerial surveillance for joint Bahamian-U.S. counter-criminal initiatives from radars located on the U.S. mainland.
Surveillance technology is not static. Heightened threats to world peace from international criminal cartels and, particularly since September 11, 2001, from terrorist organizations and their client states, have resulted in the development of significantly improved surveillance capabilities by agencies of the United States government. One such capability is the use of unmanned surveillance drone aircraft; an untethered surveillance balloon so to speak. As a partner with the United States and all peace-loving states of the international community, The Bahamas continued to lend assistance to international and bilateral counter-criminal initiatives.
Certainly the minister of foreign affairs and your editorial board would agree that covert anti-criminal initiatives are frequently necessary if governments and law-enforcement agencies are to identify, locate and stop criminal activity detrimental to the public peace and to the general welfare of the people. Similarly, it must be understood by any minister of government that sensitive matters relating to national security and law enforcement are frequently time-sensitive and secret and are not responsibly disclosed to the media and the general public so as to safeguard the lives of dedicated law enforcement personnel.
As I said when asked by your newspaper about the existence of this drone testing exercise over The Bahamas, the government is aware of all bilateral and international anti-criminal exercises taking place in The Bahamas. A review by the minister of his turn-over notes and of his ministry's files would elucidate many things for him as would discussions with his senior advisors. He might also consult with the minister of national security and the prime minister on the matter, as handover notes and ministry files in those portfolios would be similarly informative.
Having served previously in the capacity of minister of foreign affairs (2002-2007), Fred Mitchell would be aware of U.S.-Bahamas bilateral anti-crime fighting initiatives. Simply familiarizing himself with developments over the past five years would bring him up to date on the current status of arrangements. I would have expected that this would have been the first order of business for a new minister.
Further, The Bahamas public service has a permanent establishment for a reason. Those professional and technical advisors in our ministries and in our law enforcement agencies are guardians of continuity. They ensure that governments do not make decisions in isolation or ignorance. The minister should, if he has not done so by now, engage his advisors in a discussion of his portfolio responsibilities.
I take issue with your editorial concern that small countries like The Bahamas need to be jealous of and safeguard their sovereignty and not give sanction to initiatives that we cannot "monitor or control". Let's be reasonable, if we could afford and if we had the capacity to monitor and control sophisticated radar surveillance of the entire Bahamas, we would not need to enter into bilateral arrangements with anyone to facilitate such surveillance. We are indeed fortunate that the U.S. government is interested to make this level of surveillance available in The Bahamas.
We are not so naive as to believe that the U.S. government does this only from the goodness of its heart. Bahamian governments recognize fully the considerable benefit gained by the U.S. government and its law enforcement agencies from the conduct of such exercises in a friendly country. This is in keeping, for example, with the benefits to the U.S. government from being able to operate an important research facility in Andros (AUTEC) which predates even our independence but which was continued by the first independent government of The Bahamas and which has been continued by every subsequent government of The Bahamas. Does The Nassau Guardian wish to suggest that The Bahamas government ought to be monitoring and controlling the U.S. research at AUTEC?
As regards your query as to what the U.S. will tell the minister, the minister does not need to ask the U.S. anything. He must simply inform himself from the records of The Bahamas government. He might then use that information to inform his future discussions with U.S. government representatives going forward. This is the normal conduct of government business and this is how diplomacy works.
Finally, my comments on this matter would be incomplete if I did not remind your editorial board of the significant and important assistance which results from the long-held joint cooperation initiatives between the U.S. and Bahamian governments which are not provided for in the terms of any of our cooperation agreements, but which are routinely called upon by us and provided by the U.S. government and its agencies: that is, U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue missions for missing Bahamian vessels and aircraft; emergency relief assistance to distressed seamen and passengers in Bahamian waters; medical emergency assistance, particularly in our Family Islands during inclement weather, and relief and rescue assistance directly connected to hurricanes. The assistance extended by the U.S. Coast Guard to the victims of the MV Sea Hauler tragic accident on the high seas, and more recently their safe rescue of all passengers and crew from the grounded MV Legacy off the coast of Abaco, are but two vivid reminders of the special relationship we share with the agencies of the United States government.
For all those acts of kindness, Bahamian governments and the Bahamian people are grateful and appreciative to our near neighbor, friend and ally, major trading partner and overwhelming market for our tourism sector.
- O.A.T. (Tommy) Turnquest
I am writing in response to two letters that were recently printed in The Nassau Guardian and The Tribune taking me to task for calling on former Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Hubert Ingraham to defer retiring from the House of Assembly until 2017.
Let me make this clear: I fully support the new leader of the official opposition party Dr. Hubert Minnis (Killarney) and his deputy Loretta Butler-Turner (Long Island). I am glad that Dr. Minnis stepped up to the plate and accepted the leadership role of the FNM after many of its promising stars were wiped out in the May 7 general election. Had Dr. Minnis lost his seat to the Progressive Liberal Party's (PLP) Jerome Gomez, the FNM would have been in dire straits.
I believe that the FNM is in good hands. My only issue with Dr. Minnis is that he is not as dynamic as either Ingraham or Prime Minister Perry Christie. Still, I think he is an excellent member of Parliament who no doubt has brought his 21st century brand of leadership to the FNM.
It is his unique style of leadership which has caused him to win in convincing fashion in Killarney, despite the tidal wave of anti-FNM voters that had gone to the polls throughout The Bahamas. But I am still of the opinion that he and the remaining seven FNM members of Parliament may need help from an experience leader and parliamentarian.
I am not yet convinced that any of the FNM parliamentarians, except Butler-Turner, can go head to head with the prime minister, in terms of debating. What's more, the PLP has many other excellent debaters in the House who can run circles around the FNM's parliamentary caucus. I think that Dr. Minnis will only get better in the next several years.
But until then Ingraham should reconsider giving up his North Abaco seat, at least until 2017. Even after over two months since May 7 the FNM has yet to find a suitable replacement for Ingraham in North Abaco. This is all the more reason why Ingraham should stay on to help his party in the House. If there is any FNM representative who can go head to head with any of the 29 PLP members of Parliament when it comes to debating, it is Ingraham. He can hold his own. I am not saying that he should become the leader of the FNM. I understand that this is the post-Ingraham era. But the FNM members, four of whom are parliamentary rookies, can use his help and experience.
What is wrong with that? I think the FNM should give this some serious consideration before Ingraham officially retires. After all, what does the FNM have to lose by allowing him to stay on to assist Dr. Minnis?
- Kevin Evans
So Hubert Ingraham continues with his games even at these closing hours of his political career. He promised that he would resign on the July 19 to coincide with the anniversary of his first election to the House of Assembly in 1977. Well on Thursday, July 19, 2012 he staged the biggest charade ever. With scores of adoring party supporters and some of his most ardent admirers in the news media pushing to get close to him, Hubert Ingraham passed his resignation later to the speaker saying what? That it was to become effective the end of August. What a charade. What a farce.
The records will show that Hubert Ingraham resigned his seat on August 31, 2012 and not on July 19. He had some fetish about leaving on the anniversary of his first election. Somehow it would make his years of service to the Parliament and people of North Abaco complete. Yet he failed to accomplish this simple task. Just like he failed to leave after 25 years as he promised, and just like he failed to leave politics without ever loosing an election like he bragged.
Then you have the spectacle of the chairman of the Free National Movement (FNM) crying shame on the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) for failing to call a special meeting of the House to allow Ingraham to say goodbye. It was Ingraham himself the night of the inglorious defeat of the FNM who said that he will not take his seat. It was Ingraham himself who picked up his georgie bundle and marched out of the House after being sworn in. It was Ingraham himself who decided not to attend any of the nine meetings of the House since May 23 when he would have had ample opportunity to say farewell or whatever.
The House was never stopped abruptly like he caused it to be just before the dissolution thus depriving a number of members from saying bye. And by the way Mr. Chairman, no special meeting of the House was called to allow Sir Lynden to make his final speech. It was after the death of Sir Lynden that a special meeting was held and members brought tributes as I recall.
Why didn't Ingraham make his resignation effective on July 19 like he so wanted? I understand it was to allow a Greg Gomez to qualify to run in the by-election; a man who lived outside of The Bahamas for years; a man who did not struggle for the party like so many others more deserving of the nomination; a man who must be only now trying to become Bahamianized in Abaco; a person who must be out of touch. Did you FNMs not read the memo on Howard Johnson? Don't be bamboozled again.
- Eric Gardner
When Hubert Ingraham came on television election night after his Free National Movement (FNM) was defeated, he had my full attention. An era was over.
What would he say? How would he look? What next?
He was sad. He almost cried as supporters cheered for him on what must have been one of the most difficult nights of his life. The nation will always remember that moment. It was the beginning of the goodbye to one of the fathers of the modern Bahamas.
There are moments in history that stand out; moments when we unite around events that are about our collective journey as people; moments when we reflect on the contributions of those whose actions influenced our lives; moments when we reflect on greatness.
The next such moment in the exit of Hubert Ingraham will be his farewell address in the House of Assembly on July 25. After 35 years as a member of Parliament, Ingraham is to say goodbye to a place he distinguished himself in. The question is, though, will he and the men and women in that place live up to the moment, or will myopia make it an occasion less than it should be?
The fighter and the attacks
Whether you like him or not, Ingraham's story and accomplishments are extraordinary.
The poor boy raised in Abaco rose to become prime minister three times. During his first 10 years in office there was exceptional growth in the Bahamian economy. The international reputation of The Bahamas at the end of the Pindling regime was poor. Ingraham helped restore it.
After the FNM was defeated in 2002, he led it back to victory in 2007. In that last term in office Ingraham was faced with responding to the most significant recession since the Great Depression. Its effects still persist, with national bankruptcies occurring across Old Europe. While things worsened in The Bahamas, there was no collapse under Ingraham's watch. His stewardship during this period can be added to his list of many accomplishments.
While his successes help to explain why he was a consequential leader, his style of political combat, in part, explains why he is also so controversial.
The former FNM leader had one campaign he used repeatedly against the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and it worked three out of four times: They are corrupt.
The mighty Lynden Pindling was part deity to many. He was the Moses who led black Bahamians out of bondage. The Ingraham-led FNM used the allegations of drug-related corruption and impropriety regarding the disbursement of public funds in the run-up to the 1992 election not only to defeat Pindling, but to also re-write his legacy.
Commissions of inquiry and the persistent bludgeoning narrative that Pindling and the PLP were corrupt have led many young Bahamians today to regard Sir Lynden as more of a drug dealer mob boss than a legendary leader.
The attacks on the PLP did not end there, however. When Ingraham's friend Perry Christie became PLP leader and the two squared off in 2007, Ingraham went directly at him. He tore his friend down by branding him as lazy and inadequate.
The attack narrative was harsher in 2012. This time he essentially questioned Christie's integrity regarding his work as a consultant for an oil company, while also reminding the country that Christie was near useless as a leader.
Along with Christie, Bradley Roberts and Shane Gibson were favorite targets of Ingraham in recent years.
The intensity and persistence of his deeply personal attacks was married with a seeming anger. While Ingraham was mostly successful in felling his enemies over the years, or at least critically wounding them, his style also nurtured much anger, and in some cases hatred, in those on the other side.
Setting an example for the future
In this context saying goodbye to Ingraham in Parliament is not simple.
Many in that place on the PLP side despise him. Some think he should be subjected to commissions of inquiry as Sir Lynden was subjected to and that his legacy should be torn down with the same ruthlessness he used to bludgeon PLPs.
Via this thinking, the only words that should be uttered from the governing side about the former prime minister would be based in contempt, making Ingraham's last day in the House a verbal crucifixion.
But where would that leave us as a country? What example would that give to future generations? What culture would that help solidify in this young democracy?
Ingraham should be subjected to reasonable analysis by those who speak of him. The good and the bad should be laid out, presenting the full picture of a complicated and extraordinary man.
The instinct by some to embarrass the former leader should be resisted. But for this to happen, Ingraham too must be sober in his remarks and tone. At his press conference at the House on Thursday "the pit bull" returned. Ingraham launched a series of passionate attacks on the PLP. If he decides to say goodbye to Parliament in this manner, the occasion would be lessened and he would harm his legacy.
The Bahamas is in a precarious place. Its economy is weak; it has a crime problem; too many of our young people are poorly socialized to the point of being nearly feral. Our ship of state is sailing in the darkness on no discernible course.
A goodbye from a father of the nation will have the attention of the nation. People at work will turn on their televisions. Those in cars will turn to the public broadcaster to listen. It is rare for anyone to have such an audience.
Along with stating his accomplishments and discussing regrets, I hope the former prime minister speaks to some of his aspirations for The Bahamas and too warns of some of the dangers he sees in the culture and in his people.
I hope too that he speaks to this and the next generation of politicians about commitment to public life. Ingraham, Christie and Pindling were never really lawyers by profession. They were politicians. Whatever your view of the trio, they dedicated a lifetime to public service. Many who like to criticize them would never offer one minute of their time to the common man unless they are to be paid handsomely for it.
The former prime minister is a captivating and fierce man. We the pundits will miss him. He has an obvious love for politics. Those who want to be prime minister someday should know that that love for the fight that is politics is necessary if you are to make it to the top.
Ingraham often says that you don't make yourself prime minister, people do. This is true. His people made him prime minister three times. He should be proud that he was able to earn our trust that many times. And we should say thank you to him for all he has done.
Leadership is not easy. It is lonely and usually takes out of the person more than it gives. Hopefully in his retirement, the Delivery Boy, the Pit Bull, Papa is able to get some rest.
The non-interest of subsequent central administrations in making the Family Islands sports program a top agenda item has been a concern expressed in this space often.
Indeed, on a goodly number of occasions over some four decades, it seemed appropriate to lobby for the islands to be better assisted with sports development. At long last though, there is a good "reason" to believe that the sports development programs in the various Family Islands will be a major focus collectively, of the present government. The "reason" is the presence of Dr. Daniel Johnson as minister of youth, sports and culture.
I was with Minister Johnson and his party of officials recently when he visited Marsh Harbour and Moore's Island in the Abacos. There is a high level of passion in Minister Johnson. He wants to upgrade the sporting facilities in the islands. Certainly, he understands quite well that he has started a process that must be given full attention. The message of his dedication to sports development in the Family Islands has gone out. There is general expectation now in every island community. Outside of New Providence and Grand Bahama, the islands are badly in need of quality sports facilities. The story of how a percentage of Bahamian athletes persevere and succeed against great odds is known worldwide.
My foreign media colleagues marvel always over the high rate of success per capita Bahamian athletes are having. For me, the big question is about how many more elite athletes would be produced if the facilities in the Family Islands were up to par. For instance, you leave Moore's Island where the athletes have just a rough uneven field at their disposal and you visit the sports complex in Marsh Harbour and take note of the outdated asphalt track those athletes in that area have to make use of. They have no choice but to use what's there for them, no matter how deplorable.
I don't consider myself to have ever been an athlete. However, I've been close to our national sports program from my teen years. I worked out at times over the years with the likes of our late legendary hurdler Danny Smith, Leslie Miller, Kevin Johnson and Fritz Grant. I know well about injuries, aches and pains that athletes have to live with even when utilizing proper facilities.
So, when I viewed the dilapidated asphalt track in Marsh Harbour, the plight of the athletes in the Family Islands was re-enforced in my mind. It's just not good at all for the young girls and boys in Marsh Harbour to be in a situation whereby their shins, ankles and knees receive constant battering from the improper running surface.
Asphalt tracks ought to be outlawed. How many young boys and girls of Marsh Harbour became disillusioned because of the soreness of their limbs and joints due to running on the asphalt track? How many of them determined that they didn't want to continue running track as a result? Poor facilities have far-reaching consequences.
So, Minister Johnson, a tall order is in front of you.
o To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com.
One of The Bahamas' largest poultry producers is expected to see its orders reach up to 80 percent within the next two months.
"Within the last two weeks we increased our chick orders by 30 percent. So in September, we will be back up to 80 percent. By November, we should be back up to full speed here at the farm, so we are very encouraged," said Lance Pinder, operations manager at the Abaco Big Bird Poultry Farm.
"We have gotten a lot of small orders because I guess they have to get their customers back. People do look for Abaco Big Bird Chicken. We have gotten quite a few calls from wholesalers and retailers in Nassau."
Pinder confirmed to Guardian Business that just a few months ago, the company had considered shutting down its operations because business was extremely bad. In fact, the farm's production was down by 60 percent.
"Despite being open for the past 17 years, business had gotten worse in recent years. Our production was down by 60 percent," he explained.
He noted how the company's bottom line was significantly impacted when import controls were removed two years ago. This is in addition to high operational costs and natural disasters that negatively impacted the firm.
"It has definitely affected our bottom line. After they got rid of import controls, we lost a lot of money that year because we didn't even know that was going to happen. At the time, we were just adjusting to the market but still it was not enough to keep this place going," Pinder revealed.
"Hurricane Irene impacted us badly last year. On top of imports coming in easily, our operational costs are going up so it has been a two-edged sword that has been cutting through us. BEC is a cost that you can't do a lot about. We are also getting an increase in foreign competition from places like Brazil, coupled with our costs going up at the same time."
Solomon's, Super Value, Asa H. Pritchard, Phil's Food Service and the D'Albenas agency are just some of the places that Abaco Big Bird Chicken is supplying.
Pinder further shared with Guardian Business that the farm is encouraged because it has an all-natural product, in comparison to foreign produce. He explained that purchasing local is healthier, and is more cost-effective overall.
"It's really not that much more. It probably costs a restaurant five cents more on a dinner to serve Abaco Big Bird chicken. You're talking about five, ten cents a pound. And that's competing with the lower grade chicken out of the United States. If you bring in the top quality brands out of the U.S., if you are paying duties and are not smuggling, our chicken is actually cheaper except for leg quarters. They are sold below cost and are undervalued," he said.
On average, Abaco Big Bird Poultry Farm can produce 6,000 birds daily and up to three million pounds annually.
V. Alfred Gray, minister of agriculture and marine resources, said there is presently a policy in place where the Bahamian buyer must prove that at least 30 percent of its chicken and eggs are bought locally, before a permit is even considered for the buyer to bring in the remaining 70 percent.
Earlier this week, Gray said he would consider a ban on certain imports if Bahamian farmers prove they can produce food in sufficient quantities at a reasonable price.
"We are encouraging Bahamian farmers in the production of Bahamian foods. I'd rather help a Bahamian out, even if the product is a few cents more, because at the end of the day it's our job to keep Bahamians employed," according to Gray.
Retiring North Abaco MP Hubert Ingraham wrapped up a farewell tour of his constituency last night ahead of his resignation from the House of Assembly on Thursday.
The former prime minister and past leader of the Free National Movement (FNM) told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that he began visiting constituents on Friday and planned to host a final meeting with some of them in Murphy Town last night.
The Nassau Guardian understands that the event was also a part of the FNM's campaign for the upcoming by-election in the area, which must be held within 60 days after Ingraham formally resigns.
"I'm just having a little reception for some of my constituents to say farewell to them up in the Dundas, Murphy, Central Pines area," Ingraham said yesterday, speaking to The Nassau Guardian from Abaco.
"I was in Grand Cay yesterday and I have been to Cooper's Town, Green Turtle Cay [and] to Little Abaco since this is my last week before I put my resignation in on Thursday.
"This is my farewell political tour."
FNM leader Dr. Hubert Minnis flew to Abaco yesterday for the party.
The FNM's Central Council is considering four men for the FNM's North Abaco candidate selection: Greg Gomez, Cay Mills, Jackson McIntosh and Perry Thomas.
On Monday, The Nassau Guardian revealed that Gomez did not meet the constitutional requirement to run for public office because he lived in the United States for several years.
Minnis said Gomez returned to The Bahamas last August. The constitution requires that a person be an ordinary resident of the country for at least a year before he or she is eligible to be elected to the House of Assembly.
The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) plans to run Renardo Curry, who lost to Ingraham in the recent general election.
After the FNM's defeat on May 7, Ingraham announced that he would step down as leader of the party and not take his seat in Parliament.
However, he later decided to delay his resignation from the House until July 19, the anniversary of his first election to Parliament.
Ingraham won his seat in Parliament eight consecutive times -- once as an independent, twice as a PLP and five times as an FNM.
He served as prime minister for three non-consecutive terms.
He told The Nassau Guardian in an earlier interview that he will spend his retirement from public office fishing, with family and operating his law firm.
Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham intends to delay his resignation from the House of Assembly to the end of August, The Nassau Guardian understands.
Ingraham had previously said he would resign effective today, the anniversary of his first election to the House in 1977.
But The Guardian has learnt that while he will hand in his resignation letter this morning, that resignation will not take effect until the end of August.
Ingraham is expected to make a formal announcement at a press conference at the House of Assembly at 9:30 a.m. today.
A delay in his resignation would allow Greg Gomez -- the Free National Movement's preferred pick to run in the North Abaco by-election -- to sort out his residency issue.
On Sunday, FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis confirmed that Gomez does not yet meet the constitutional requirement to run for public office.
Gomez lived in the United States up until August 2011, according to Minnis.
According to the constitution, a person who is eligible to be elected to the House of Assembly must have been an ordinary resident of The Bahamas "for a period of not less than one year immediately before the date of his nomination for election".
When Parliament opened on May 23, Ingraham told The Nassau Guardian it was his last day in the House of Assembly.
He has not attended any sittings of the new House outside opening day when he was sworn in.
The delayed resignation could provide Ingraham an opportunity to attend Parliament again and even make a farewell address as former Prime Minister the late Sir Lynden Pindling did in 1997.
But it is unclear whether Ingraham intends to say a formal farewell in Parliament.
He drew rebuke in some circles when he abruptly adjourned the House prior to the May 7 general election, denying retiring MPs like former Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia 'Mother' Pratt an opportunity to make formal farewell speeches.
Putting his resignation off to the end of August would mean that Ingraham would have to attend the House prior to then, or the North Abaco seat would automatically become vacant.
Under the rules of the House, if a member of Parliament is absent from the House without leave for a period of 90 days, he or she automatically vacates his seat. As indicated, Ingraham last attended a sitting of the House on May 23.
The delayed resignation could also impact Prime Minister Perry Christie's plan to hold a referendum on gambling before the end of the year.
Christie said recently that the timing of that referendum will be impacted by Ingraham's resignation because a by-election would take priority over the referendum.
Ingraham spent several days during the last week on a farewell tour in his constituency.
He hosted his final reception for the constituents of Dundas Town, Murphy Town and Central Pines on Monday evening.
He began his farewell tour on Saturday, visiting Green Turtle Cay. On Sunday, he visited Grand Cay where he attended services at the Shiloh Baptist Church.
He then traveled to Little Abaco. During his visit to his constituency, Ingraham stayed at his residence in Cooper's Town, according to a statement sent earlier in the week by FNM Chairman Charles Maynard.
Ingraham was elected to the House of Assembly for eight consecutive times, serving as a member of Parliament for 35 years. He served as prime minister from 1992 to 2002 and from 2007 to 2012 (15 years).
He was first elected leader of the FNM in 1990, succeeding the founding leader of the party, the late Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield.
Ingraham served for 19 nonconsecutive years as leader, the longest term in the history of the FNM.
Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham accused the government of victimizing civil servants and said its recent decision to end the contract of Princess Margaret Hospital (PHA) Administrator Coralie Adderley was made because Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez has a "personal issue" with her.
"What is happening at the hospital with Coralie Adderly is a clear case of victimization," Ingraham said at a press conference at the House of Assembly yesterday. "Gomez has an issue with Coralie. He has a personal issue with her."
On Monday, The Nassau Guardian reported that the PHA decided to release Adderley from her contract 18 months before it ends. The move came just a few months after the PHA renewed her contract.
Ingraham said the hospital administrator served under the Free National Movement (FNM) and the previous Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government working alongside former ministers of health Dr. Bernard Nottage, Dr. Marcus Bethel and Dr. Hubert Minnis without difficulty.
"Why is it that Gomez comes and in six weeks' time he has a difficulty?" the North Abaco MP asked. "It is personal. It is wrong. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. She is a very good and capable officer, she has managed the hospital well."
He claimed that up to yesterday, Adderley had not yet received written notice of her impending termination, nor were hospital employees formally advised of her looming departure. Ingraham also claimed that while he was prime minister between 2007 and 2012 Gomez, who was then working in the public health sector, asked him twice to intervene in work-related disputes.
"I, on both occasions caused the matter to be resolved in his favor. Unfortunately for Coralie, she doesn't now have a prime minister who is able to review and make determinations like he had when I was in office," Ingraham said.
However the health minister told The Guardian earlier this week that the decision to remove Adderley was made in the best interests of the hospital.
"I think the institution needs, if you ask me seriously, new leadership, not only in administration but in physician management," Gomez said. "The place is crying for new leadership and if we are going to make PMH what it ought to be we have to try to get leadership of the institution straight in all aspects. There's nothing more, nothing less."
In the two months since the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) won the May 7 election there have been numerous claims of oppression at the hands of the Christie administration. Dozens of Urban Renewal workers who were let go in June claimed they were being targeted because it was suspected that they were FNM supporters.
However, the government said the workers' contracts had come to an end and they had the right to reapply for employment.
In May, talk show host Christina 'Chrissy Love' Thompson was released out of her contract with the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas about month before it was set to end. Afterward, Thompson accused the government of sexism and victimization.
When asked yesterday if he thought the Christie administration was victimizing public servants Ingraham said, "Unquestionably so."
He also said that Greg Gomez, one of the FNM's prospective candidates for the impending North Abaco by-election, had a local government job reneged by the PLP after the May 7 election because of his political affiliation.
The Ingraham administration faced claims of victimization when it assumed office in 2007, after talk show hosts Steve McKinney and Phillippa Russell were fired from the BCB.
However, Ingraham took exception to the comparison yesterday.
"Steve McKinney and those were on the radio telling people the election was not over, the PLP was coming back and we were not going to have the public broadcasting station abused in that fashion," he said.
He added that the government is now "abusing" the state-run media.
"It's been turned into a propaganda station," he said referring to ZNS. "I now watch [Cable] Channel 12 news and I ask the public of The Bahamas to start watching them too."
Ingraham handed in his resignation from Parliament to Speaker of the House Dr. Kendal Major yesterday morning. However the resignation does not come into effect until August 31.
He had earlier said that he was going to resign yesterday on the anniversary of his first election to Parliament in 1977. The former prime minister said he put off his resignation for three reasons: to delay the timing of the government's proposed referendum on gambling; to allow prospective FNM candidate Greg Gomez time to meet the constitutional requirements to be eligible to be elected to the House and because the new leader of the FNM Dr. Hubert Minnis asked him to stay on longer.