Categorized | National News

McQweeney “No” voters sent a clear message

Sean McWeeney,QCConstitutional Commission Chairman Sean McQweeny, QC, said the outcome of Tuesday’s referendum was most likely the result of a lot of suspicion, distrust and talk of hidden agendas among Bahamians following Wednesday morning’s budget debate reconvention.

He stated that despite the negative reactions there was some good that came from the resounding no vote following the gender equality bills referendum.

“I think that the good thing about the result is that it’s very clear. There’s no question about what the Bahamian people are saying and that’s they want no part of any of these bills,” he said.

“There’s no doubt about that. I think it means that the government with the opposition will have to do a complete rethink of the constitutional program for change to decide if, how and when they will proceed again.”

Mr. McQweeny said moving forward he does not see any other constitutional bills being presented in the near future.

Moreover, while the commission felt gender equality is a very important issue there were other issues that could have been presented simultaneously.

“We thought that if you would have a referendum include some of the other areas which we have targeted as priority areas, one of them would have been having an independent director of public prosecutions so the attorney general’s powers of criminal prosecution would be taken away from her and given to someone who is truly independent,” Mr. McQweeny said.

“Another one which is about to become very topical is that we thought that now is the time to move towards have an independent autonomous boundary commission to take it out of the hands of politicians and have this whole issue of redistricting and control of the conduct of elections placed in the hands of an autonomous body.”

Mr. McQweeny said it was ultimately the government’s decision to proceed with the gender equality bills.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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