Categorized | National News

Multiple Referenda In November

Prime Minister Perry Christie said the government is ready for a multiple referenda it plans to have in place by November, but will be seeking the consensus of the opposition over what the questions will be.

“When we go to Parliament, we would consult the leader of the opposition and the opposition in Parliament to see if there will be unanimity on the issues that are important to my government,” Mr. Christie said while speaking to reporters outside the installation of officers and executives of the PLP’s New Providence Women’s Branch Sunday.

One of those issues, he said, is gender equality.

“By all accounts, everyone agrees with it and so the question then will be whether there are other matters. With respect of whether or not we are ready for November – the answer is yes. I want to have whatever we do done before the end of the year, but as I indicated in a recent lecture at the end of the year that it would appear that we have to do multiple referenda and it would mean that we would have to do it over a period of time because it is a very costly affair,” the prime minister said.

January’s failed gambling referendum cost the government over $1 million.

Bahamians overwhelmingly rejected the idea to regulate web shops and to establish a national lottery.

The lasting result of the referendum is a court battle between the government and the web shops owners over whether the web shops are in violation of their business licenses.

Wayne Munroe, who represents seven of those web shops, said he does not believe that trial would get underway this year.

Meantime, Prime Minister Christie said this time he is seeking not to confuse people.

“One of the things that happens is that when you put many questions on a list, you tend to confuse what the priorities are,” he said.

The nation’s chief stop short of saying what the questions on the referendum would be.

However, he said that the Constitutional Commission, who released its report in July, is still intact.

“We would first determine for ourselves, then we would meet with the opposition and together we will determine if there is something with which we can be unanimous on going with the people so there is no political discussion or division,” Mr. Christie said.

“I’ve also kept the Constitutional Commission in being. It is alive and it is existing and the idea is based on the practical experience of referenda in the Caribbean that they should continue to have a voice and also be active in the preparation of the people for whatever referendum takes place.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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