Categorized | National News


Among charges of sabotage from some delegates and supporters, chaos and pandemonium broke out at the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) convention, as the voting process for party officers ran eight hours over its scheduled time.

Some 1,700 delegates had to vote, which was a 21 per cent increase from the leadership race in January this year.

Convention chairman Micheal Halkitis said the delay was due to a number of factors.

“How the hotel is set up we only have two rooms and this was a keenly contested election so the process was scrutinized very closely. You had to assure everybody that everything was satisfactory and in place, so there was some delays and we apologize for that,” Halkitis said.

He added that they had to ensure that the candidates were observing and although it slowed the process down, he’s thankful it’s over and that everyone got to vote.

Power outages also disrupted the proceedings which caused scores of voters to cry foul play.

Those who cried sabotage were still irate when it was announced that the counting of votes would continue late into the evening, thus cancelling the scheduled programme of speakers for the last night of the convention.

Some delegates were visibly upset and did not hold back words as shouts of “make sure guard the box” and “No foul play” could be heard coming from the crowd.

Police presence was strong on the grounds, especially near the ballot boxes during the power outages.

Outside the polls T-shirts, banners and caps were seen in last minute campaign fashion.

Former MP Hope Strachan said, “ it’s disheartening that all of the chaos of the night is what people will take away.

“This was an opportunity for us to really showcase our ability to organize, to see if we can try to regain the trust of the Bahamian people. However it is a missed opportunity, because chaos is what people will remember about the convention, as opposed to all of the good things that may have happened before today. It is unfortunate that this is what people will have to take away,” Strachan said.

Outgoing Chairman of the PLP, Bradley Roberts said although some persons were annoyed that the process dragged on, this is simply a part of the furthering of the democratic process.

“Sometimes it’s painful and slow, but in the end the decision of the majority will rule,” Roberts said.

Alex Storr, a longtime party official said the power outages did frustrate the process and his Former MP Alfred Sears said his only word to describe the process is “sad.”


Written by Jones Bahamas

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