An unofficial candidate in the upcoming North Abaco by-election is calling on the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Free National Movement (FNM) to limit the amount of money they spend to campaign for the coveted seat.
Bahamas Constitution Party (BCP) Servant Leader Ali McIntosh, a fourth generation Abaconian who plans to contest the North Abaco seat, reminded that Abaco is a small community. She said investing substantial amounts of money in posters and other election paraphernalia is unnecessary and “disingenuous.”
“There are a lot of people in Abaco whose lights and water are off. There are a lot of people who have many challenges. If they’re going to come in and bring that kind of money on the ground on those things that are not necessary, that is not essential. So, we’re challenging them not to do so,” she said yesterday in an interview with the Journal.
PLP and FNM candidates Renardo Curry and Greg Gomez plan to contest the seat. Both were recently ratified by their respective parties.
Cay Mills, who unsuccessfully campaigned for a nomination from the FNM, will also contest the seat as an independent candidate.
Ms. McIntosh, who has worked in crisis management for 18 years, said all of the candidates should be given an opportunity to debate the issues and speak to the people.
“As I said before, it’s not a very large community and if the parties are just coming in to see how many people they can draw . . . by [bringing] the entire machinery into North Abaco . . . to win the election is defeating the purpose if we’re talking about campaign reform.”
Recently, an Organisation of American States (OAS) observer mission completed a report on the country’s May 7 General Election.
In the report the OAS recommended campaign finance legislation. It also noted that even though a high number of women participate in the electoral process, that has not translated into a high number of women in political office or on the list of candidates presented.
“Women are discouraged from participating in the election because of the rogue, harsh kind of politics that the men actually have,” he said. “They have these harsh campaigns that women are afraid to get in because they are afraid they might be knocked down. I would encourage them not to go easy on me, but I expect that we have a fair game,” Ms. McIntosh said.
“Most people say there is no fairness in politics, but I think that we can act civil or we can run a campaign that is clean or that is respectful to each other.”
Ms. McIntosh is no stranger to politics.
On May 7 she ran unsuccessfully in the Englerston constituency.
In 2002 she ran in the North Abaco constituency, but was defeated by former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, who has held on to the seat for 35 years.
Mr. Ingraham recently tendered his resignation following his defeat at the polls.
His resignation, however, comes into effect on August 31.