19th May 2016, 21:58
Less than six months after being elected into Parliament as a member of the Opposition, Marlene Hassan Nahon has announced her resignation from the GSD. In a personal statement she accuses Daniel Feetham of leading the party in an authoritarian and divisive manner, and says the GSD's values no longer correspond with her own. Ms Hassan Nahon will continue as an MP however, and she pledges to work alongside the government whenever circumstances require it, as much as against it when warranted.
Marlene's Personal Statement:
It was never my ambition to be a career politician. I entered political life reluctantly because I felt it was the right thing to do. I was brought up with a strong sense of political values and taught to stand up for what I believe in.
Unfortunately, I have come to a crossroads in my life where I believe those values no longer correspond with my party. I believe in a collegiate approach where a party can meet and discuss ideas and values openly and democratically with a view to a consensus. After much soul searching, I have come to the realisation that this is not the party I have been attempting to work with over the last six months.
I believe the GSD party is today being led in an authoritarian and divisive manner, something which I feel is becoming a toxic environment for me. This situation is impeding me from progressing with my ideas and beliefs and has been causing a lot of friction between myself, the Leader of the Opposition, and others in the party, making my job and my duties practically impossible to carry out. Furthermore, over the last few months and on numerous occasions, I have found that any effort to reason with, and/or advise Daniel Feetham, has been interpreted by him and most importantly ‘others’ within the party, as an attempt to undermine his leadership. This could not be further from the truth. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I had no personal ambition to be GSD leader.
This attitude and interpretation of my motives and intentions makes my position within my party untenable and leaves me with no option but to resign from the GSD with immediate effect. I have today informed the Speaker Mr. Adolfo Canepa, and the Leader of the House and Chief Minister Mr. Fabian Picardo. I have also informed HE the Governor.
I want to make clear that I have no desire to relinquish my commitment to the people of Gibraltar for the next three and a half years. I intend to work alongside the present Government whenever circumstances require it, and as much against it whenever warranted. My main objective and focus will always be to represent people’s causes and needs to the best of my ability within my role as an MP.
If, in time, it becomes apparent that the people of Gibraltar want me to continue to represent them beyond the next three and a half years, I have no doubt their voices will be heard, and I shall make any subsequent decisions if and when the time comes.
We are living in complicated and difficult times. Today’s government may be doing its best to navigate current issues, but Gibraltar desperately needs a clear agenda for progress and change. An Opposition that is not open, plural and cohesive will never be able to attend the needs of our community. In order to rise to the challenge we need dialogue and democracy and not partisanship and paranoia.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me through the good and bad times, and more importantly, everyone who voted for me. I hold you all in my heart and will continue to work from the Opposition benches to improve the lives of all of Gibraltar׳s residents in any way I can.