AFTER months of waiting for Dr Elliston Rahming to be accepted as Bahamian Ambassador to Washington, the Bahamas was forced to transfer him to the United Nations and appoint Dr Eugene Newry in his stead.
Yesterday, the government of the Bahamas revealed that on May 3, 2013, Ambassador Rahming, then Ambassador-designate to the United States, had his name removed from consideration as Ambassador to the United States and requested to be reassigned.
Dr Newry, who still currently serves as Ambassador to the United Nations, accepted the new post and his name was put forward. According to Foreign Secretary Fred Mitchell, the government made no announcement on either of the developments until an agreement was received from the United States government. This agreement was received yesterday.
However, FNM shadow foreign minister Hubert Chipman said this appointment, along with others, raises “serious concerns” about the way state affairs have been conducted by the prime minister and others. Minister Mitchell.
“After months of silence, double talk and well-crafted denials, they finally confirmed that on the advice of the Prime Minister, Dr. Eugene Newry has been appointed Ambassador to the United States with immediate effect. As we reported on June 11, Elliston Rahming, then Ambassador-designate to the United States, had been removed from consideration for that position. If the government is to be believed, that Dr Elliston Rahming himself requested this withdrawal on May 3, 2013, it is highly unusual and highly questionable why the Prime Minister still allowed him to present his credentials to the ‘OEA three days later in May. 6th. Given our usual practice of having both positions filled by the Ambassador to the United States, it seems very unwise to always appoint Dr. Rahming to the OAS if they knew at the time that Dr. Rahming’s appointment had not been approved by the United States government. We believe this is not the way to conduct foreign policy with the friend, neighbor and longtime ally of the Bahamas, ”said Mr. Chipman.
The controversy surrounding Dr Rahming’s appointment has been brewing for months, with members of the opposition now raising concerns about how the ambassador should fill both his post in New York at the United Nations and his ambassador to the United Nations. the OAS – which is based in Washington.
“We anticipate that Dr. Rahming’s appointment to both positions is likely to be financially and functionally untenable. The conduct of this and other appointments raises serious concerns about the manner in which affairs of state have been conducted by the Prime Minister and his Foreign Secretary, Mr. Mitchell. To date, their combined performance has been less than stellar. The handling of this matter is the culmination of many foreign policy mistakes that have left the Prime Minister and his Minister of Foreign Affairs with enormous credibility problems here at home and in the international community. They have a lot of work to do to get back on track. The FNM looks forward to better leadership and better performance in the management of foreign policy from these two men.
Mr Chipman however took the opportunity to congratulate both Dr Rahming and Dr Newry on their appointment to these high positions. The two ambassadors are expected to be introduced to their respective staff on Monday August 27 and Tuesday August 28.