There is nothing at all Free National Movement Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis and his fellow Opposition Members of parliament can do about one of their very own.
Edison Key, the member for Central and South Abaco is a huge political dilemma for Dr. Minnis. As much as Dr. Minnis and the others try to ignore the strong positions Key has taken, opposed to them, it must rankle that senior member of the group continues to march to the music of his very own drummer.
Dr. Minnis sought, seemingly, to garner political mileage with the decision to lead his fellow FNM members of the House of Assembly in a “no vote’ against the government’s 2014/2015 budget.
Prior to the voting, Key indicated that he intended to support passage of the budget. This is the second time Key has gone outright against Dr. Minnis and the others. There was the occasion, last August, when there was an FNM decision to boycott the House in support of Dr. Minnis, who was barred.
Key didn’t see fit to join the boycott. He was present at the proceedings while the other FNMs stayed away.
The thing about Key is the logics he brings to the table every time. He is a seasoned politician and a nationalist of the highest order. With him it has always been about his independent right to act in the best interest of his country, whether those he was connected to, agreed or not.
He is a fundamentalist. The very essence of Key is dealing with underlying factors. He gets to the core of situations and then makes his decision. In this case, he determined he would go against his FNM colleagues because he didn’t think they made the right decision.
Here are a few quotes attributed to Key:
“We have 28, 000 civil servants who have to be paid every month. They have to pay their mortgages, light bills, school fees, groceries and everything else. So, it wouldn’t be in the best interest, I don’t think, for my party to vote against the budget.
“I explained to them in the meeting that this could have tremendous repercussions for the party because for 30,000 or 28,000 civil servants, naturally who need to be paid monthly, I think the PLP will look at this as something to gain political mileage on.
“I tried in the best way I could to persuade them that I didn’t think that was the right thing to do.”
Put that way, by an FNM MP, the decision by the rest, inclusive of Leader Dr. Minnis seems highly questionable.
Key has upstaged his leader and his FNM colleagues.
This situation is one that, going forward Dr. Minnis will probably have little choice but to address. It’s a tough call for him however. Key is a venerable individual who is respected by all and sundry. His Central and South Abaco constituents for the most part swear by him. They are devoted to the man.
It is unlikely Key will run again, so he has no interest in whether he is considered for a nomination the next time around or not.
It stands to reason that he understands the political terrain in this country better than Minnis and the others. Edison Key is comfortable within himself and satisfied that he is acting on behalf of his constituents in particular and the people of The Bahamas, in general.
This must be a very frustrating matter for Dr. Minnis.
Published Friday, June 20, 2014