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PM defends PLP's blocking of previous referendum

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Staff Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Perry Christie yesterday defended his first government’s decision to block the 2002 referendum despite their current plans –10 years later – to introduce a similar vote.

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Prime Minister Perry Christie

Speaking on the sidelines of a parliamentary conclave yesterday, Mr Christie said his then-administration opposed the process taken, not the content, of the referendum.

He added that his government’s decision to hold the referendum at this time was not motivated solely by Bahamian public opinion, but growing international concerns of the country’s policies.

“We opposed last time on a specific ground,” Mr Christie said.

“I went to the Seventh-Day Adventist gathering, I remember the then leader of the Seventh-Day Adventist saying that they weren’t consulted and because they weren’t consulted they couldn’t participate. I then checked and found out that all of the churches were saying they weren’t consulted.

Mr Christie said: “I then went to my colleagues and said for the purposes of lack of consultation we must oppose this unless Ingraham decides to stop it and consult, and he didn’t.”

Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell announced plans of a referendum to remove discrimination against women, as it related to the transfer of citizenship, from the constitution on Monday.

Stating that he did not want to be pinned down on a timeframe, Mr Mitchell said the government would hold the referendum before the next general election in 2017.

At the outcome of the 2002 referendum, then prime minister Hubert Ingraham said he was “ashamed” that voters decided against bringing the country in line with United Nations conventions on equal rights for women.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Mr Christie said he did not feel that the rejection of the 2002 referendum was a setback for, but demonstrated that no government should act against public will.

“It was not a question as to the judgment of the substance of it.” Mr Christie said. “It was a judgment of the process, and we attacked the process and we were successful in attacking the process.

“Now the by-product of it was that (the referendum) wasn’t passed, but we were never motivated against any issue on the referendum, we were motivated against the fact that it was being imposed upon people against their will.”

Comments

pilgrimagerock 10 years ago

Wow, PM Christie you have no moral shame. As a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, I am totally offended by your remarks. I reckon that you and your pathetic administration are still pissed off with Pastor Leonard Johnson’s using the Independence Day as a forum to speak out against the gambling referendum.

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bahamianfemale 10 years ago

Simply another reason to separate state and church.

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mynameis 10 years ago

The announcement by Minister Mitchell of a second referendum on the equalization of womens' rights and now the Prime Minister's defence of the stance taken by his party on the referendum which included the issue is really one for the books...the particular books being entitled "Hyprocrite!" I know that there are some persons out there who would have been blissfully unaware of the campaign waged by the PLP in 2002 against "the Referendum" because they were too young at the time, but I cannot forget what their message was - "Vote NO..regardless of the question being asked!" One would have thought that the one question concerning the equal treatment of Bahamian women would have gained the support of Bahamian women and been a non-partsan question. But that was not to be, because the PLP decided to use the occasion as a pre-test to General Elections and in true non-nation building fashion obscured the issues so much that at the appointed day, Bahamian women were certain that to vote "yes" on the question of their equal treatment would mean that their husband's outside children would inherit what their legitimate children would. The politically-led "church" then added their two cents. The issues of inheritance had nothing to do with the equal treatment of women...but the ignorant and misinformed Bahamian woman didn't care about being discriminated against by the Constitution if changing the status quo meant that the outside children would inherit what she and her philandering husband had worked for. Mr. Christie now claims that the reason for his party's opposition was due to the process and not the content and that the failure of the referendum was a matter of not opposing public will...a number of words come to my mind when I consider that statement...but none of them are printable, particularly as the "public will" he is talking about was deliberately twisted by a concerted and selfish propaganda machine that didn't give a damn about the effect on roughly one half of the population or international opinion. Now, international opinion matters, but not the impact of the discrimination on the Bahamian woman. But I will say that being involved in politics must have a deleterious effect on character, otherwise a person could not with a straight face stand up time and time again and say the things they do when there is a clear record of what what said previously!

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concernedcitizen 10 years ago

well written ,it really explains the whole thing to people much younger than myself !!

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pilgrimagerock 10 years ago

Well said and well written, mynameis. 2002 would be remembered as one of the most embarrassing moments in the history of the commonwealth of the Bahamas. The PLP’s rejoice with ignorance and pride while Bahamians everywhere were confused, angry and ashamed. PM Christie could create all the excuses in the world to defend his hypocrisy decision for "blocking" the 2002 referendum. Truth to be told, Perry Christie and his PLP’s colleagues all voted for the referendum in the House of Assembly and upon consultation with Paul Adderley and co, he and his PLP’s colleagues received their marching orders to destroy Hubert Ingraham’s referendum.

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concernedcitizen 10 years ago

Good golly , i,m going to my boat to get my spear and sling and try to brain myself ,,,,,ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,,and the worst part is there will be thousand of their supporters parroting this complete and utter hogwash ........

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concernedcitizen 10 years ago

how do these fruit loops come up with this crap and then use religion to spoon feed it to the masses ............................and theres 70000 people that believe this nonsense ,,i know they got 75,000 votes ,,there is 5,000 of them in on the joke laughin all the way to the bank ,,i,m just amazed that PGC doesn,t burst in to laughter ,he can really say ,this dope for the masses crap ,with a straight face ...........

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242 10 years ago

The Prime Minister loves to point blame away from himself

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Arob 10 years ago

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive” Sir Walter Scott

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242 10 years ago

All he had to say was that was the new plp and this is now plp 2.0....different people.....

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242 10 years ago

He said he was against it because he hada to take the side of the church in 2002....now the church against gambling so he against that too? nope.... PLP = Perry Lying 2 People

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242 10 years ago

Since it's PM Perry gotta through a big word in there which he love to use.... PLP = Perry Lying Profusely

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bahamasoapmama 10 years ago

Um, you DO NOT consult the church, you consult the VOTING public in a DEMOCRACY!!!! The church doesn't deserve more consideration than CITIZENS!!!!

I NEVER elected ANY church leader to represent me.

FAIL!!!!!

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