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Bahamian Politics Last Updated: Apr 12, 2017 - 12:25:32 AM

McCartney on the Bahamas General Elections 2017
By Branville McCartney, Leader, Democratic National Alliance (DNA)
Apr 11, 2017 - 11:04:04 PM

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The date for the General Elections has been set for Wednesday, May 10, 2017 in The Bahamas. This marks the ninth time in an Independent Bahamas that the country allows it citizens to demonstrate their right to select representatives for the House of Parliament. However, this also marks another electoral occasion without addressing Campaign Finance Regulations, Anti-Corruption Laws and a tangible Freedom of Information Act.

The DNA party has, since its inception, called for fixed election dates which will remove the element of surprise from the process, and also allow for the proper planning and execution of the electoral process. With fixed election dates the register would be prepared in a timely fashion, errors would be reasonably eliminated, citizens can plan for travel, work hours, school closures, etc.

It is astonishing that in a 21st century democratic country, one person has the final say in when elections are held. The election date remains in the hands of the Prime Minister, who can choose to call it at a time pleasing to him or his party, without regard for the current state of the country.

The date May 10th is an historic date in the country, as it marks the unprovoked attack of the HMBS Flamingo, a national tragedy and an attempt to nullify the sovereignty of our nation by Cuban forces. It is a reminder that this Bahamaland is a place to be protected and defended, and its citizens deserve the opportunity to observe this event without distraction.

The Democratic National Alliance shares concerns that the date selected for the general elections occurs at a time when our schools are conducting National Assessment Examinations. This means that the study and examination timetable is bound to be disrupted for students, parents, teachers and the assessment team.

The Democratic National Alliance also notes that the dates for Carnival were initially changed so as not to clash with the general elections. However, due to the outcry from the public, those dates were reinstated.

The Democratic National Alliance believes that the citizens of The Bahamas are ready for change, and are highly anticipating carrying out their rightful duties to mark a ballot for a person or party they wish to have lead the country for the next period.

Branville McCartney
DNA Leader

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