Categorized | National News

By-Election Candidates Rally on Nomination Day

By Keile Campbell
Journal Staff Writer

On Monday, politics took center stage as Bahamians from all political persuasions took part
in Nomination Day, which involved rallying and addressing members and supporters of both
the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Free National Movement (FNM) as the ratified
candidates for both respective parties vie for the Member of Parliament (MP) seat of West
Grand Bahama and Bimini.
The PLP’s ratified candidate Kingsley Smith shared some words with reporters on
Nomination Day.
“With my name now officially on the ballot, I’m feeling the weight of your trust and your
strength of our shared dreams. To every person I’ve met on the doorsteps whose stories have
touched my heart and reinforced my resolve, I say, I am one of you, and I am here for you. I
heard your concern, your aspirations and your frustrations. We’re in this together and I pledge
to be a voice, your champion and most importantly, your active partner in bringing about the
progress we all yearn for,” Mr. Smith said.
“My commitment is to turn our conversation into action, action that you can see in your
streets, in your schools, and in the opportunities for your children. I’m not just running for
office, I’m running towards a vision where our communities thrive.”
Bishop Ricardo Grant, as the ratified candidate for the FNM, told reporters why he feels he is
the best representation for the constituency of West Grand Bahama and Bimini, being a native
son, born in Hannah Hill, Eight Mile Rock.
“There are some things that the Free National Movement have put in place here that I believe
that we can continue to press and take to the next level. Certainly, the fish fry, we’re going to
look at that and we’re going to expand that. We’re looking to make sure that, ensure that we
make certain that there’s a place where tourists can come and access. The opportunity for
ensuring that, again, persons can do just business, you know, the new businesses and the
business entrepreneurs here, they can definitely feed off of that. So, we’re gonna continue to
push that,” Bishop Grant explained.
“As far as education is concerned, we do have that, first and foremost there’s some things that
we know that can be done here in West Grand Bahama, that deserves to be done. Technical
and vocational training that we’re going to extend from here to Bimini. Bimini first and
Grand Bahama serves as the political battleground as motorcades were held by both parties,
with supporters gathered along the streets to show their belief and hope in their candidate to
continue the work left behind by former MP the late Obie Wilchcombe.
The nation’s leader, Prime Minister Philip Davis was in Grand Bahama to show his support
of Mr. Smith ahead of the by-election and pointed out the perceived failures of the FNM
when the party was in power, claiming the then Minnis administration did nothing for the
people of Grand Bahama and Bimini.

“We’ve only been in for two years, what did they do in five years they were in before? We are
now picking up the pieces and we’re picking up the pieces not just in West End Grand
Bahama, but the whole of The Bahamas. They left this country in a total mess. We had a
health crisis; we had an economic crisis, and we also had a governance crisis and we’re able
to now right those ships, so yes, we are paying attention to West End. The neglect sits at their
feet because they did nothing for the four years they were in power. The concerns that you are
hearing is because they were neglected and we are doing our best to deliver on what we need
to,” the prime minister said.
The PLP and FNM’s respective ratified candidates are not the only hopefuls to be the next
MP of West Grand Bahama and Bimini.
The Coalition of Independents (COI) Leader Lincoln Bain, independent candidate Terneille
Burrows and independent candidate Daquan Swain are all in the running to represent the
constituency in the House of Assembly, with Bahamians from West Grand Bahama and
Bimini set to vote on the decision on November 22.
COI Leader Bain said the government has moved projects in the constituency forward since
making his presence on the island.
“People have been neglected in this constituency for many, many years, not just the two years
of this administration, they’ve been neglected, you can just take a drive around and look and
see. People are relieved, many people – even people who may not even vote for us. People are
relieved that I came to town because me come in town has already brought change. So, in
essence, we cannot lose because we have already won by representing the people. All of a
sudden, because I advocated for it since being here a couple of weeks ago. We are going to
open administration building on the 13th. All of a sudden, since I push for it, they’re going to
open this school that they say has been sitting in limbo for 10 years. Ridiculous! They’re now
saying they’re gonna fix the police station in West End, now that I spoke out about it. They
also now gonna deal with the seawall. You know, I came, I spoke about the potholes in the
road, they came in and one day fix the potholes and what people are saying is that that means
they could have done it a long time ago,” Bain said.
Independent candidate Terneille Burrows professed on behalf of children and woman victims
of domestic violence, standing with all survivors and sufferers of violence, as she listed
several high-profile cases of such violence.
“So, every time a baby Bella happens, a Marco Archer happens, the 2003 murders of the
Grand Bahama boys, a young lady who was killed by her 33-year-old boyfriend in 2014 and
shot three times in the head. Peter Higgs, he was murdered by his father, I stand with them
today and this is a unique opportunity for the people of West End and Bimini to elect
someone that’s going to make a change in the house,” Burrows said.
Independent candidate Daquan Swain, who ran for the constituency of West Grand Bahama
and Bimini back in 2021, spoke of the need for young ideas and perspectives when it comes
to the country’s policy-making decisions.
“We have to understand that the old model of how we were doing things and operating as the
community has failed us and now we need that new voice who understands and relates to the
young man who is 18 and 19 years old, knows his issues, knows what he’s going through and

who also can relate to the mature in the community to know what they need as well. But
again, that goes with building rapport with those residents. See now, everybody’s now
sprinting, trying to do it. We’ve been doing it, so now we’re just hailing, ‘Hey, listen, you
know we still here, hey, listen. You got our support’ so it isn’t about us trying to find out who
these people are,” Swain said.
The by-election in the constituency of West Grand Bahama and Bimini is set for November

Written by Jones Bahamas

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