Categorized | National News

PM To Announce Referendum Details Soon

Prime Minister Perry Christie is expected to announce details of the pending referendum on the legalisation of gambling sometime next week, according to the country’s deputy leader.

Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis told the Bahama Journal Wednesday that his party will stick to having the referendum before the end of the year and that Mr. Christie is expected to come to the public with all the details soon.

“The prime minister will be making an announcement very shortly,” Mr. Davis said while fielding questions from reporter’s yesterday afternoon.

“Mr. Christie’s announcement could come as early as next week, I’m not sure, but I know that as of now he is ready to go to the nation to explain the way forward and to set the framework for the referendum to be held.”

Mr. Davis said while the nation may seem to be divided on the gambling issue, government members will not be forced to choose any particular side.

“As a government we have indicated that we will put a referendum to the people so they can decide whether we should have web café gambling,” he said.

“Insofar as the government, the whip will not be on members of our party. Members will be able to vote with a clear conscience and decide whether they want it or not. It’s a matter we think we will leave to the individual consciousness of each member.”

He continued saying, “We will also respect the wishes of our people once the referendum is held.”

There has been much public debate surrounding the legalisation of gambling over of the past few weeks, so much so, that the contentious issue has even divided the Bahamas Christian Council (BCC).

The BCC has said it is “diametrically opposed” to gambling, however, Mt. Calvary Baptist Pastor Dr. Philip McPhee believes there are benefits to be derived from its legalisation.

He recently held a discussion with several other pastors and the proprietors of numbers houses.

Despite his stance, the pastor says has never gambled and does not intend to change, even if the law changes.

The Mount Calvary Baptist pastor’s stance on gambling shocked many in the religious sector who questioned why a clergyman would support the illegal trade.

While shying away from getting involved in the back and forth dialogue, head of the local Roman Catholic Church Archbishop Patrick Pinder reiterated his church’s position yesterday, which is, that it does not support the legalisation of gambling.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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