PLP Senator Resigns
Slamming the government of Prime Minister Perry Christie for what he called poor leadership and lack of direction, Progressive Liberal Party Senator Edison Key has resigned from the upper chamber.
"I've had it up to my eyeballs," Mr. Key said in an exclusive interview with the Bahama Journal Monday.
He said his letter of resignation - dated January 10 - was hand delivered to the prime minister's office, but he said he has not received any kind of reaction from Mr. Christie.
"I had hoped that Mr. Christie would have printed my resignation in full to the media so that the Bahamian people could see exactly why I resigned," Mr. Key said.
But Prime Minister Perry Christie told the Journal Monday evening that Mr. Key was revealing something to the Journal that he (Mr. Christie) was not aware of.
"I am not in receipt of a resignation from Mr. Key," the prime minister said. "I have not seen it and I have asked my office to put a trace on it. He has not telephoned me. Anyone who has given as much to the PLP as Edison Key has should not demit public office in this way. He has been a warrior. He has the greatest admiration from me. I am surprised that he has chosen to do it this way."
Mr. Key said that he has only been invited to one parliamentary meeting since May 2002.
"I don't feel like I need to waste any more of my life mixed up with this crew here," he said. "I wish them well but I think they're in for a rude awakening at the end of the journey."
Although Mr. Key said he resigned five weeks ago, there has been no announcement from the government to this effect.
"I am very disappointed in the government and the leadership," Mr. Key said. "I really serve no purpose in this new government."
But he was quick to add that he planned to remain a member of the PLP.
"I've been a part of the PLP from 1970," Mr. Key reminded. "I've been through all the struggles and trials and tribulations. I ran here in Abaco when you [would have been considered] an outcast to even identify with the PLP, especially a white man in an all white area."
When asked how he would characterize the performance of the Christie government since it came to power in May 2002, the former senator said, "On a scale of one to 10? Maybe a three."
He said he was shocked that the prime minister has kept secret his resignation. Members of the Senate reportedly did not know up to Monday that Mr. Key was no longer a senator.
"If you notice, it's all about Christie," he charged. "I wish him well. I don't want to say too much bad about him."
He added, "I'm surprised that the prime minister hasn't called me. He hasn't responded to it. I haven't gotten anything in writing from him. I'm very disappointed and I just wish them well, but I have had it up to my neck bone."
Mr. Key said he did not feel valued as a senator.
"I've turned in dozens of applications and recommendations and not one of them has been acknowledged in over a year and a half," he said. "There is no use me wasting my time...I'm not 16 anymore and there is no use me being a part of something that I'm on the outside of and I don't know what's going on. I'm a senator."
He also spoke to what he indicated was the uselessness of the senate.
"The senate has only met several times since the new government [came to office]," he said. "It's a waste of money for the senators not to be a part of the overall decision making in the country.
"The government only expects when they send bills up there [for senators] to support whatever they send. It's a rubber stamp and it needs to be considered whether the senate needs to stay in its present form or senators be elected so that they can speak their minds and say what they want to say."
Mr. Key served as a senator in the former PLP government from 1977 to 1982 and 1987 to 1992. He also served as a Member of Parliament from 1982 to 1987 and 1992 to 1997. Mr. Key also served as chairman of the Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation from 1985 to 1992.
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