Categorized | Featured, National News

Bahamians Could Vote On Casino Gambling


Prime Minister Perry Christie said yesterday that casino gambling could be addressed in the upcoming Constitutional referendum.

However, Mr. Christie, who was speaking to reporters yesterday, said that the referendum could be delayed because more Bahamians are becoming more interested in sharing their views with the Constitutional Commission.

“I just spoke with Sean McWeeney [Tuesday] morning who indicated that work is going well but that they’re finding that more and more people want to give input into the commissions’ work and that he indicated that the commission is minded to make a recommendation to the government with respect to time so we will have to see when that happens,” he said.

“The referendum that is due to take place is a constitutional referendum in the hands of the people appointed to the commission. They have the direct responsibility of consulting the people, making recommendations and coming to us. Until those recommendations are made to the government, it will constantly meet with the public.”

Mr. Christie said he has been advised that press is present for the consultations and he is glad to see that they are reporting from it.

“[McWeeney] told me that the religious consultation went very well,” he said.

“I think moving forward one of the reasons they are considering more time is because they are really excited over the extent to which people are willing and interested in becoming participants in the process of examining our Constitution. There’s nothing for me to decide to do differently when compared with the last referendum. One referendum is behind me. The constitutional referendum is scheduled to be the next one and we will see how we deal with that.”

The prime minister said that the good thing about it is that whenever the decisions are made as to what the questions will be and the areas of the questioning then the Government of The Bahamas will have a horse in the race.

“We will be able to initiate a public relations programme that is intended to ensure that every single Bahamian who would have an interest would have the information made available to them,” Mr. Christie said.

The prime minister said he also has to appear before the commission.

“I have a general invitation. They will make it specific at some stage. I thought it was going to be by mid-February. I assume they would want me to be one of the final witnesses before they report. When I do appear, I will be able to speak on behalf of the government and give a point of view on those areas of the constitution that are of interest to us in light of our own experiences but until such time we will continue to be led by the commission.”

So far the commission has interviewed many people including Opposition Leader, Dr. Hubert Minnis, Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Leader, Branville McCartney, former Parliamentary Commissioner Errol Bethel and several religious leaders.

The commission was expected to report to the government by the end of March.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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