Exuma and Andros suggested for extra MP seats


Former Prime Minister Perry Christie.


Tribune Staff Reporter


PRIME Minister Perry Christie suggested that Exuma and Andros are two islands for which the establishment of additional House of Assembly seats should be considered.

His comments came during an appearance on the “Darold Miller Live” talk show on Monday, when he was asked about the work of the Constituencies Commission, which The Tribune understands has not yet met.

“I don’t know what the Constituencies Commission, when it begins, will recommend,” Mr Christie said.

“It’s for them to look at the size of populations, to look at places like Exuma where there’s only one seat and it’s a huge expanse of territory to cover. They have to look at all of those and balance whether in the scheme of things Andros should have an additional seat. You have Bimini with a whole population of 700 new employees working on the resorts. Questions come up. That’s the work of the Constituencies Commission. In the scheme of political things the Parliament has the final say. When you look at the history of boundaries people make changes and lose.”

Free National Movement Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest believes the Constituencies Commission should have already prepared a report on the constituency boundaries in the country and submitted it to Parliament as the country heads into an election year.

Mr Turnquest is the Free National Movement’s representative on the committee. He will work alongside Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis and Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald, representatives of the government.

House Speaker Dr Kendal Major will chair the commission and Senior Supreme Court Justice Stephen Isaacs is expected to serve as deputy chairman.

Although Mr Christie announced earlier this month that the committee would soon be established, the members of the committee have not yet met.

When contacted by this newspaper, Mr Turnquest said: “Nobody has contacted me yet,” adding that he believes a report should have already been produced.

“I understand that we’re plagued by a very low voter registry,” he said, suggesting this factor could be influencing the length of time it is taking the group to get started.

In fact, it’s not unusual for the Constituencies Commission to be activated late in the year prior to an election.

Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, for instance, announced that the commission was fully constituted and that members were appointed to it in October 2011. The next election was held in May 2012.

At the time, he expressed hope that the commission would complete its work by the first month of January.

The work of the commission has been a source of controversy in the past because of gerrymandering.

Respective Constitutional Commissions have recommended that the commission be made independent from the government and its members be offered tenure for a certain number of years.

The nature of the commission’s work is largely a secret, as the law pertaining to it does not specify in detail how members should determine the way constituencies should be composed.

Nonetheless, Mr Turnquest said: “The members of the government will have to dictate whether additional seats are necessary. Some of the geography really does not work. But we have to come at this with a practical point of view and a financial point of view recognising that every seat is another $50,000 added to the public expenditure roll so we want to be very careful.”


sheeprunner12 7 years, 1 month ago

Perry while you at it ........... split Abaco, Eleuthera and MICAL ....... what a fool


Sickened 7 years, 1 month ago

We only need AT MOST one seat per island. In truth we only need one honest, sensible person to run this whole country. Why we need 40 thieves is beyond me.


sheeprunner12 7 years, 1 month ago

We do not need any more of this current brand of MPs ......... we need real nation builders ........... 38 MPs and no more than 10 Cabinet members is quite sufficient for this small country .......... but our Legislature & Executive have become a bloated drain on the Public Treasury because of Prime Ministers who really serve as dictators


ThisIsOurs 7 years, 1 month ago

How many people live on the island? In the age of technology 1000 miles, same island, should not be an issue


242 7 years, 1 month ago

Most seats win the election. He want 2 more easy yellow seats.

Seats should be worth more if the constituency has a larger population. And PM should be voted on separately.


Socrates 7 years ago

Didn't Moody's and them just days ago caution about government spending? We had plenty MPs and Ingraham cut the number. With plenty and with few the results have been the same. No representation worthy of mention. The MPs don't know what their people agree or disagree with e.g. Recent referendum that all MPs supported. If we accept they represent their people and know their views, how could the results be the complete opposite?


Honestman 7 years ago

Christie is not satisfied with hundreds of stalwart councelors now he wants stalwart consituencies!!! Bahamians must resist this tooth and nail. The PLP are a serious threat to democracy.


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