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Humiliation For Christie As He Loses His Seat After 40 Years

Outgoing Prime Minister Perry Christie pictured speaking at a PLP rally this week.

Outgoing Prime Minister Perry Christie pictured speaking at a PLP rally this week.

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

IN a surprising and humbling defeat at the polls, outgoing Prime Minister Perry Christie lost his seat in the Centreville constituency last night by 25 votes after representing the area for more than 40 years, according to unofficial results.

Mr Christie has held the seat since 1977 and has been leader of the Progressive Liberal Party since 1997.

The former Prime Minister lost his seat to Free National Movement (FNM) candidate and political newcomer Reece Chipman, who secured the win with 1,900 votes to Mr Christie’s 1,875.

According to the unofficial results from the Parliamentary Registration Department, Mr Chipman won seven out of 12 polling divisions in the former PLP stronghold, while Mr Christie won five.

In 2012, Mr Christie won the Centreville constituency for the eighth consecutive time with 2,950 votes. He defeated the FNM’s candidate Ella Lewis by 1,349 votes at the time. Mr Christie won all but one polling division in 2012.

Although he released a statement about the loss, Mr Christie did not speak publicly or address the small crowd of sombre supporters that gathered at PLP headquarters last night expecting a victory.

In his statement after conceding defeat to Prime Minister-elect Dr Hubert Minnis, Mr Christie said it was an honour and privilege “to serve as Prime Minister of this great nation.”

He made no mention of losing Centreville in the short statement.

“I called Dr Minnis earlier this evening to congratulate him on his party’s victory. I understand as perhaps few others the challenges that await Dr Minnis, and I wish him only success on behalf of our nation. He has my full support for a smooth transition,” the statement said.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as the Prime Minister of this great nation. I want to express my deepest gratitude to the Bahamian people for that opportunity. To those who served alongside me, I thank them for their dedication to our shared ideals. May God bless us all, and may God bless the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.”

On nomination day last month, Mr Christie told reporters that would be his last time running as a candidate for Centreville.

Mr Christie entered front line politics in 1974 as one of the youngest senators ever appointed at the age of 31. He joined the House of Assembly after the 1977 general election as the member for Centreville and went on to win his seat eight consecutive times, including the 1987 general election when he contested the seat as an independent candidate.

Comments

sealice 1 year, 2 months ago

Although he released a statement about the loss, Mr Christie did not speak publicly or address the small crowd of sombre supporters that gathered at PLP headquarters last night expecting a victory.

So even the PLP supporters knew in advance they were going to lose...."small crowd"

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sp1nks 1 year, 2 months ago

I was disappointed that the outgoing Prime Minister didn't address the nation, but ultimately not surprised. Christie lead with cowardice, so it's only natural that we would be more cowardly in defeat.

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viewersmatters 1 year, 2 months ago

Mr. Christie got the biggest surprise of his life that no matter how big and mighty you think you are there isnt nothing that God can't stop or move.

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Reality_Check 1 year, 2 months ago

Christie and his family are laughing at all of us. So is Maynard Gibson, Baltron Bethel, Davis, Shane Gibson and others like them. All of them have been unjustly enriched to the tune of mega-millions of dollars while we are left with a country financially ruined. But Minnis as our Prime Minister-elect has already announced there will be no Royal Commission of Enquiry to investigate the millions and millions of dollars stolen from the Bahamian people during the last five years, with the objective of ultimately recovering as much as possible from Christie and his cronies. Instead Minnis will soon be seeking to impose yet another round of back-breaking government taxes and fees on the Bahamian people (with VAT going up to 15%) so that when his five years is up he too (along with his select few cronies) can ride off into the sunset with unimaginable great wealth. My oh my - what have we done?

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HarryWyckoff 1 year, 2 months ago

Lol @ "Commission of Enquiry"

Clearly you have no idea what a Commission of Enquiry actually is or does.

It's a process of meandering investigation that costs us a fortune, and all it provides are 'recommendations' at the end. No legal precedent, not criminal convictions.

Just recommendations.

Utterly pointless.

Miinnis has exactly the right approach - all will be investigated through the legal system with legal consequences for anyone found to have broken the law.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 2 months ago

Are you aware that as part of its mandate a Royal Commission of Enquiry can be authorized by Parliament to refer matters involving possible criminal conduct to the Attorney-General?

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banker 1 year, 2 months ago

Several clarifications here. In most Commonwealth countries, it is called Royal Commission of Inquiry. In Bahamian Law Act 1911.1911-22 Chapter 184, there is no terminology for Royal. It is just a commission of Inquiry. It is not authorised by Parliament, but rather by the Governor General. Here are the first two stanzas of the act:

  1. This Act may be cited as the Commissions of Inquiry Act.

  2. Whenever it shall appear to the Governor-General that it will be for the public benefit so to do, the GovernorGeneral may issue a commission in the form of the First Schedule to this Act appointing persons, not less than three in number, to inquire into and report upon any matter stated in such commission as the subject of inquiry.

In English Commonwealth Common Law, whenever the authority of the Governor General is quoted, the unwritten subtext, is "On the advice of the Prime Minister".

An audit is more powerful that a commission of inquiry. Why? Because illegality can be more easily proven than by trying to prove intent of direct malfeasance. A cabinet minister, such as Shame Gibson has legally binding fiduciary responsibility to the ministry. An audit can prove that the fiduciary responsibility was transgressed without having to prove before a quasi-judicial body that there was intent of malfeasance. The auditors will follow the money and we know where it will end up.

Just so you know for future reference.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 2 months ago

Glad you're doing some homework but all you've done here is confirm exactly why we need a Commission of Enquiry (or 'Inquiry' if that makes you happier). Everyone knows that in a Commonwealth country the sitting U.K. Monarch (represented in the Bahamas by the Governor-General) is nothing more than the titular Head of State. This means little if anything can ever be done at our State level without the involvement of our PM and, by extension, our Parliament. All of that aside, you fail to emphasize that your research reveals there are no significant statutory restraints on a Commission of Enquiry. Its powers would effectively flow from whatever mandate is crafted by our PM (working with his Cabinet members and Attorney-General) for presentation to (and rubber stamping by) our Governor-General. Under our statute laws, the powers of the auditor-general are much more restricted when it comes to what he or she can and cannot do in the conduct of extensive and intensive investigations, and how the findings may be used. Such restrictions would not apply to a properly constituted Commission of Enquiry with a well defined mandate and having broad powers to accomplish its intended mission. There is really only one reason that I can think of for Minnis being so reluctant to go the route of a Commission; he is fearful that the Commissioners as opposed to himself would be in the driving seat when it comes to saying who should face criminal charges at the end of the day. The last thing we need is a new government all too willing to scratch its predecessor's back for whatever reason(s). I for one am certainly not inclined to have our new PM let bygones be bygones when it comes to the mega-millions swindled from the Bahamian people by the previous corrupt Christie-led PLP government.

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Honestman 1 year, 2 months ago

Mudda / Reality: The reality of a Minnis led government is clearly very painful for you today. Why don't you go and dunk your head in a bucket of cold water for half a minute and rest for the remainder of the day? Many of us are full of hope this afternoon and we don't need your miserable, repetitive and pessimistic commentaries.

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jackbnimble 1 year, 2 months ago

Even if they got "rich" every rope gat an end. It was a pleasure to vote them out!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 2 months ago

Letting the first lot get away with their crimes and related unjust riches simply makes it that much more easier for the second lot to do likewise.

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John 1 year, 2 months ago

It is sad to see the number of gold rush shirts, caps and flags people have taken off and discarded in the streets. These things are so expensive. But even at the polls yesterday persons were refusing offers of PLP shirts and other stuff. At least give them away not throw them away. Do you realize this will be the last election shirt that has Perry's face or name on it. Do you think that maybe it will become a collectors item?

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 2 months ago

I want something more tangible to remember a leader by, possibly something that can withstand more than 30 washes.

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sp1nks 1 year, 2 months ago

You can go online and make a shirt that says "Perry". On the front, or back.

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DDK 1 year, 2 months ago

Says quite a lot of the moral fibre of those 'supporters'.

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alfalfa 1 year, 2 months ago

A person with a stance that the Christie lead government and it's cronies unjustly enriched themselves, and the newly elected FNM will do the same, if not worse. The question I ask is "who would wish for" to run the country. I think I know the answer. Reality Check should run it. We will definitely be straight then.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 2 months ago

That's not at all what Reality_Check's stance is. I think Reality_Check is trying to make the point that allowing crimes to go unpunished comes with serious consequences; unless of course you don't believe in the deterrence factor being of any importance.

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 2 months ago

It is good that he has lost, if he had won he might have felt an obligation to go on. He can now put all behind him and move on.

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Economist 1 year, 2 months ago

Does anyone ever recall anyone going to jail as a result of a Commission of Inquiry?

I agree that the Auditor-General should be given what he needs to investigate and prosecute those who have abused their power. Maybe someone will go to jail.

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Porcupine 1 year, 2 months ago

Do people go to jail for serious crimes in The Bahamas? Exactly the reason why we have so many thefts, murders, and endless violations of the law. It is the wild, wild west and most sober people see that.

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Reality_Check 1 year, 2 months ago

The findings of widespread corruption by the Royal Commission of Enquiry held in the mid to late 1980s were not acted on because Pindling was PM at the time and remained as such until 1992. He was also instrumental in picking the three Commissioners, giving the Commission a very limited mandate and keeping its affairs on a short leash financially and otherwise. Assuming the auditor-general could refer matters involving criminal conduct to the attorney-general's office, it is doubtful Minnis would allow a single former PLP government official to be prosecuted if he is not now willing to proceed with a Royal Commission of Enquiry. Just you wait and see.

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BigSlick 1 year, 2 months ago

Is Maynard Gibson going to be replaced by Fred Smith QC?

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 2 months ago

Heard someone suggest Anita Allen. Now THAT would be interesting, not sure if age would prevent it. But woe to anyone who circumvented the law if she was in the position, and that would include PM Minnis. She'd be the ideal person.

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Alex_Charles 1 year, 2 months ago

phew...

we avoided re-electing a fiscal failure. I feel sympathy for Mr. Christie but unfortunately sir, your head is simply TOO hard! The dumbest thing Christie did was to snuff Alfred Sears in that leadership bid. The PLP old guard is DEAD. Reform, stop the race-baiting, follow your flipping constitution, get rid of the parasites and stop and I MEAN STOP supporting these cartels in this country. You masked corruption, criminality and thievery as 'progressive and nationalistic' policies for decades!

enough with your shit. Bring in new ideas, new people and own up to your screwy past of rampant corruption!

be the party you promised in 1953.

most of all get far away from the now former, but still full of shit, AG Maynard-Gibson. She, along with EVERYONE that had conflicts of interest in Bahamar needs to be gone and investigated, held accountable and placed in the very same Fox Hill Prison that they REFUSED to address all these years! This ain't about party, this is about country

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Stanley 1 year, 2 months ago

I congratulate the FNM (again, after 1992) but I would like to remind Bahamians not to go all Trumpkin over this win. A government represents ALL the people, and not just one party.

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Alex_Charles 1 year, 2 months ago

the part that I am concerned about is the fact that we have no opposition. we just complained about a weak opposition for 5 years, now it appear we may have next to no opposition now. that's rather unsettling

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 2 months ago

The PLP does not deserve to have any seats in Parliament ...... Ok, maybe the Exuma guy who is a greenhorn, but Brave, Forbes and Martin are goons

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 2 months ago

Did Perry resign as PLP leader as yet?????? .......... The PLP NGC must send him a reminder of what a responsible, mature and decent Westminster-system leader must do

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banker 1 year, 2 months ago

I honestly think that Perry is all shook up. He saw himself as Emperor and I do not believe that it even entered his mind that he would lose. He was out of touch, even with himself.

He honestly thought that he was loved. He thought that he did a bang-up job. He was an idee-fixe kind of guy. Baha Mar wasn't open, and he had to get it open for his legacy, so he sold the country to the Chinese. It made perfect sense to him. He had to get Baha Mar open. He also doesn't have a moral compass, so making a lil money on the side is the way things are done. He really is a stupid man.

He is probably drinking away his sorrow.

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Alex_Charles 1 year, 2 months ago

Christie still has yet to resign

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DaGoobs 1 year, 2 months ago

For blaxploitation movie buffs who remember the famous line in the Superfly movie, "don't get high on your own supply". Perry got carried away with trying to create a political legacy for himself so that when the next version of the History of The Bahamas is written, people would speak of him and Bahamas Mar and NHI and Swift Justice in the same breath as when they talk of Sir Lynden Pindling and National Insurance, and Hubert Ingraham and freedom of the airwaves, expansion of the roads and improvement in the water supply, those sorts of things. Unfortunately, few if any of the things that he was so passionate about are likely to be attributed to him and I suspect that his legacy will be mentioned in muted tones due to an inability to find any. His leadership was plagued by indecision, inaction and corruption. Worse still to lose his seat in such an ignominious manner might wind up becoming the high point of his legacy. At least Pindling and Ingraham both got re-elected before deciding to move off the political scene for good. Not so with Christie; 40 years of consecutive representation brought to a screeching halt by being voted out with no goodbye, no official send-off, nothing. Was it deserved? Only time will tell.

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The_Oracle 1 year, 2 months ago

Ingraham stifled his cabinet, threw friends and cabinet ministers under his bus, Christie let his run loose, reprimanded, fired none. Perhaps a stable middle of the road approach is the correct Medicine? (no pun intended) To the letter of the law. Never been any fault with our laws, just failed enforcement.

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