Categorized | National News

Minnis defends referendum position and scold government practices

Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis said he stands by his position to urge Bahamians to vote their conscience during the controversial gender equality referendum and says in the future his government will enact legislation to remove Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) discriminatory practices during the process.

Dr. Minnis said it was unacceptable for the PLP to use tax payers’ money to fund the “Vote Yes” campaign but deprive the No campaign of the same privileges causing an irregularity in the voting process for many.

“These irregularities included among other things, a lack of clear instructions from the parliamentary officials regarding the presence, and or, dress of observers while within the polling venue,” he said.

“The Parliamentary Commissioner agreed in advance to allow agents designated by the two major political parties to act as observers, however observers from the FNM were denied entry into the polling venues because they wore red shirts. Why Mr. Speaker should a red, green, yellow or any other color shirt affect the voting process, and what is the legal basis for such a policy?”

He further attacked the government for its lack of a handle on the dissemination of results by The Parliamentary Department.

“In a fully wired country such as ours with all the modern technology available including the internet, telephones, faxes and Whats App we find it unacceptable that this PLP government is so incompetent that it would take almost forty eight hours to count the votes and make the final results public,” Dr. Minnis said.

“We suspect a sinister motive and we demand an urgent explanation from this PLP government. The government also owes the Bahamian people an explanation as to how the chairman of the PLP could issue a statement of the defeat of the YES vote before the Parliamentary Commissioner had received all of the results from the various stations and made them public, and even before the completion of the vote count.”

Moreover, with the 2017 general elections months in the distance, Dr. Minnis says he suggests that an international firm be allowed to regulate and observe the voting process to ensure integrity.





Written by Jones Bahamas

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