Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, on Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 announced that he had accepted the resignation of Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, saying, “I thank Mr. Turnquest for his service to The Bahamas, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Prime Minister Minnis further announced that he will serve as interim Minister of Finance, “and will make a substantive appointment in due course.”
DPM Turnquest also released a statement on Wednesday, which read as follows:
“PRESS STATEMENT – K. Peter Turnquest, MP – November 25, 2020: It has been my great honour and privilege to serve my country in public office. I have done so with total fidelity and adherence to the tenets of our democracy and the Westminster conventions by which we are guided.
As a consequence of all the unfounded and untrue claims that have been circulating in the mainstream press as well as in social media, to protect my family, and in the best interest of my Constituency and my Party, I have offered my resignation as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance to the Prime Minister with immediate effect.
I will continue to serve out the term of my election as the Member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama for whose prayers and support I continue to be most humble and grateful.
My focus as Minister of Finance has been to deepen our democracy by enacting legislation that reformed and modernized the management of our economy and the public’s finances. I am confident in the team of young men and women at the Ministry of Finance who will continue that work.
When I met with the Prime Minister today, I informed him that while I am confident my reputation of transparency and accountability will be vindicated once the allegations against me have been fully ventilated through the courts, I did not want a private business dispute, which occurred prior to my taking public office, to become a distraction to the Government, or to the important national work that lies ahead.
Our nation is undergoing an unprecedented time in its history. We are fighting a global pandemic, resulting in unprecedented economic challenges and a difficult road ahead to maintain stability and recovery. We must all continue to commit to doing our part.
I look forward to putting this matter behind me and continuing to encourage modernization and reform in our country to which, I remain so grateful for allowing me to serve.
At an appropriate time, I will have more formal comments to make in regards to the circumstances of the allegations made against me and the actors that have perpetuated it.”
Mr. Turnquest is the third in line of Cabinet ministers to have resigned from the current administration. Dr. Duane Sands resigned as Minister of Health in May 2020, and Brent Symonette (who also served as Deputy Prime Minister under Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham) resigned as Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration in June of 2019.
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