Nassau, Bahamas — With the Elizabeth by-election only days away a second day of polling among the candidates places PLP candidate, Ryan Pinder, as the front-runner in the race.
BP/Cardiff poll shows Pinder maintaining a 59% lead in votes cast in a second day of polling. A PLP reading this information said to BP, “While we are having good feedback on the ground and are collecting and registering voters everyday, we still should have concerns with the fact that persons in the constituency have been registering at the registrar since June of 2009.
“The community you should know is a community which has a huge section of renters who moves in and out of the constituency. Our job now is to find out who are those people who registered since last year June, and we must make certain that they are indeed constituents of Elizabeth.”
Readers would remember in a written ruling of the election court challenge in the Pinewood constituency, Justices Anita Allen and Jon Isaacs cited that there are ‘egregious failures’ in the electoral registration system in The Bahamas.
“This case exposed the most egregious failures in the parliamentary system. The parliamentary commissioner failed, for whatever reason, to ensure the integrity of the registration process in Pinewood. It was indeed startling to the court that counsel for the petitioner and the first respondent were forced to concede that 85 of 183 votes challenged were unlawful votes,” the Justices ruling read.
“This case also revealed that far too many Bahamians are willing to take an oath without regard to truth and their promises before Almighty God. This court will be considering whether any person ought to be referred to the police authorities for appropriate action.”
The vote cast by a Jamaican national Manani Kijana Taylor was one such registered voter in the Pinewood constituency that proved where the processed was abused and corrupted, the Justices noted. The court was advised as to how Taylor bribed an official in the department, and for $1,000 acquired more than one voters’ card.
“Perhaps the time is appropriate for the parliamentary commissioner to comprehensively examine the practices and procedures of the Parliamentary Registration Department with a view to ensuring that what we saw in Pinewood does no re-occur because it threatens to undermine the fundamental basis of our parliamentary democracy,” the Justices ruling said.
Bahamas Press has raised it own concerns with Parliamentary Registrar Commissioner, Errol Bethel, who remains at the head of the department. Readers should note how Hubert Ingraham sent home every senior officer of the government in almost every department including the police, the defense force, the immigration and customs departments, BTC and BEC but amazingly Errol Bethel is still on the payroll even after Justices Allen and Isaacs agreed ‘egregious failures’ in the electoral registration system in The Bahamas.
BP says something is fishy again in the Parliamentary Registrar Department.