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Call For Election Monitors

FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis.

FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis.

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday called for “international organisations” to chaperone the 2017 general election, as he highlighted a number of “irregularities” that allegedly took place during Tuesday’s gender equality referendum.

Dr Minnis, in a press conference yesterday morning in the House of

Assembly’s Minority Room, said the process used in Tuesday’s referendum revealed a number of “flaws” which he said “resulted in many persons being denied their fundamental right to cast their ballot and could possibly cast a long dark shadow on our country’s ability to hold free and fair elections.”

One example of such, Dr Minnis claimed, was that despite agreements made with Parliamentary Commissioner Sherlyn Hall to allow members of the major political parties to act as observers, many FNM observers were denied entry into the polling divisions “because they wore red shirts.”

Dr Minnis also claimed that “in many cases” polls were opened and balloting proceeded before FNM observers “were finally allowed in the room.”

Other flaws Dr Minnis cited included a lack of “clear instructions” from parliamentary officials regarding the “presence and dress code of observers,” hard copies of the register of voters not being available on time and in “most cases not available at all” at some polling places; and voters allegedly being instructed to “write ‘no’ or ‘yes’ in answer to the questions rather than to mark an ‘x’.”

“These irregularities are of great concern to us especially in light of the upcoming general elections and we wish to put the government on notice that these irregularities must be fixed,” he said. “In light of this, the Free National Movement will demand that international organisations be invited to observe the Bahamas general elections in 2017.”

Dr Minnis also criticised the Christie administration for using “their control over the government’s purse” to “push for an outcome of their choosing” instead of remaining impartial. He said this was evident in the government’s decision to fund the YES Bahamas campaign “while at the same time denying funding to the ‘no’ campaign.”

“Free and fair elections are the foundation of any democracy, ours being no exception,” Dr Minnis said. “It is demonstrably unfair for a government to use the peoples’ taxes to fund one side of the issue while denying funding to the opposite view. An FNM government will enact legislation to remove this discriminatory practice in future referenda.

“Unfortunately, the process used in yesterday’s referendum revealed a number of flaws which resulted in many persons being denied their fundamental right to cast their ballot and could possibly cast a long dark shadow on our country’s ability to hold free and fair elections.”

The four bills, which aimed to bring gender equality to the country’s Constitution, were overwhelmingly rejected by voters at the polls on Tuesday. The full results were not released Tuesday night, however Mr Hall told reporters that it was evident all four questions on the ballot were “overwhelmingly” rejected.

Comments

sheeprunner12 4 years, 5 months ago

Minnis is right ........ the PLP will be a desperate,rabid bunch of kleptocrats who will probably have $100 million to spend to buy the election .......... Minnis and the others better beware

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Zakary 4 years, 5 months ago

  • $100 million to spend to buy the election

Then we accept that $100 million as a stimulus package and promptly proceed to vote them all out.

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birdiestrachan 4 years, 5 months ago

The Doctor is talking foolishness, it was X no one had to wright yes. This fellow can sure tell some lies. It is to bad that when he had his press conference, there were few to support him. This is just another one of his Fish stories.

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Fitmiss 4 years, 5 months ago

I worked at a polling station. After giving clear instructions, we still had a candidate right his/ her answer. We just contrary at times.

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bubbaslp 4 years, 5 months ago

ELECTION MONITORS WE DO NOT NEED NO STINKIN ELECTION MONITORS. LOL.

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Publius 4 years, 5 months ago

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday called for “international organisations” to chaperone the 2017 general election, as he highlighted a number of “irregularities” that allegedly took place during Tuesday’s gender equality referendum.

AKA, he does not know what the hell to do or what to look for or what the law is or what he should keep an eye on or how to train workers on any of the same - so he expects the US and others do the work that a sovereign nation's officials are responsible for. Does anyone notice that this man has not made one mention of the Opposition's work regarding the Register? This tells you much of what you need to know about what this man knows and understands regarding elections in this country, what is supposed to happen and what the nation's Opposition parties are supposed to be doing in that regard. International observers are not there to do the work that is supposed to be done by officials of sovereign countries.

which resulted in many persons being denied their fundamental right to cast their ballot

Many like whom? Where are the persons? Which polling divisions did this happen in? The Leader of Opposition cannot make a claim like this to the country and the world with absolutely no evidence presented. Again, he clearly does not understand his role and what is supposed to happen therein.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 5 months ago

Monitors are needed for how Minnis goes about getting fresh fish delivered to his home! Minnis, as a dishonest and incompetent politician with absolutely no leadership skills whatsoever, has fractured the FNM party into smithereens and left it deprived of funding from many of its past financial backers. Christie and the PLP are banking on those FNM Council members who unwisely continue to support Minnis to secure a big win for the PLP in the next general election. Minnis is truly Christie's "ace in the hole" as can be seen by from that sly grin on Christie's face whenever Minnis opens his mouth as leader of the opposition and FNM party.

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