Statement to the Media
Philip ‘Brave’ Davis, Q.C., M.P.
Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party
For Immediate Release
18 July 2021
TOMORROW MAY BE LAST DAY TO REGISTER OR TRANSFER REGISTRATION
A CAMPAIGN PREVIEW ON THE EVE OF ELECTION
The PLP’s Campaign: An Economic Plan for Change
The FNM’s Campaign: Deception & Garbage Juice
Ladies and Gentlemen:
All signs point to the bell being rung this week.
Ballot boxes have arrived in the Family Islands, FNM signs are being moved around the country, preparations for the Advance Poll are well underway, Embassies abroad have been notified, and the Speaker of the House has pointed to Tuesday as the date Parliament will be dissolved.
If the bell is rung on Tuesday, that leaves only tomorrow, Monday the 19th of July, to register to vote, or to transfer your registration if you have moved from one constituency to another.
THE RIGHT TO VOTE
I want to emphasize how critical it is that every Bahamian have a fair opportunity to vote, with no undue burden placed on them as they exercise this most fundamental right of citizens in a democracy. In this case, the Prime Minister has a special obligation to ensure a fair process.
First, he is calling an election nine months early, after months and months of responding to questions about election timing by noting only that the election is due in May of next year. In his last campaign, he promised a fixed election date, just one of many, many broken promises. In this campaign, he is playing games with the timing – games that are deceptive and disrespectful to voters.
Second, we are using a permanent register for the first time. The government has spent millions on propaganda promoting themselves, but only a tiny fraction of that giving Bahamians the information they need about the registration process.
Third, because of the stalled reconstruction after Dorian and because of the unemployment crisis, we have a very large number of voters who have changed constituencies, in many cases moving from one island to another. Many people have moved in with family or friends as rents or mortgages became impossible to afford without steady employment.
In many of these cases, the voter does not have a utility bill or a lease in their name. They must be allowed to transfer their registration by swearing an affidavit that they reside at a particular address.
New voters are able to register with an affidavit; voters who have moved should be granted the same ability to register at their new address.
It is the responsibility of the Prime Minister and the Parliamentary Commissioner to ensure that everyone who wants to register can do so without any unnecessary and unjustifiable difficulty.
So today I urge those who have not yet registered, or who have moved since the last election, to please go to the registration centre nearest you tomorrow. Do not wait a single day longer.
You can find more information at plpbahamas.org/registertovote or at elections.gov.bs.
It’s important to say that I do not believe that the lies are going to work for them.
Lies don’t put food on anyone’s table. Lies can’t build a country.
We don’t need small changes in this country, we need big ones. We face very big challenges. In order to succeed, we need a government focused on making life better for everyone, not just for a privileged few at the top.
We have assembled an excellent team of men and women, in support of our detailed plan to create a more dynamic and inclusive economy.
We know Bahamians are ready for a government with a strategic plan for the economy and the ability to execute it.
The more they lie about us, the more we’ll tell the truth about them.
We once again, urge Bahamians everywhere to get out and register…NOW!