Minnis accuses govt of unethical, immoral action over boundaries report
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Feb 17, 2017
Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis suggested yesterday that the name change from Montagu to Free Town after the Constituencies Commission report was signed, is a “violation” that goes against “ethical and moral guidelines” in governance.
In a post on his Facebook page, Minnis said, “This government continues to make a mockery of our democracy.
“A simple boundaries report cannot be tabled on time, and their gerrymandering of boundary lines cannot help them.
“To see that the newly formed Free Town constituency was an addendum after the report was signed by the members of the Constituencies Commission is a very serious violation that goes against the ethical and moral guidelines that ought to be followed by those in governance.”
Free Town is not a new constituency, but it is the name of the former Montagu constituency, which has been reconfigured.
The House of Assembly on Wednesday night approved the boundaries commission report despite objections from the opposition.
Minnis did not contribute to the debate on the report.
In a letter read into the record by House Speaker Dr. Kendal Major, St. Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman expressed “extreme displeasure at the complete and utter variance between the contents of the document shown to me and the document actually tabled in Parliament”.
Chipman, however, did not indicate in his letter what these variances were.
When Prime Minister Perry Christie tabled the Constituencies Commission’s report in Parliament last week, he announced that Montagu will be renamed “to honor the ancestral heritage of a major part of the constituency”.
Montagu MP Richard Lightbourn and Fort Charlotte MP Dr. Andre Rollins have filed a legal challenge against the report on the ground that it was not completed within the five-year time frame called for by the constitution.
Ahead of the May 7, 2012 general election the report was tabled on November 28, 2011.
The new report was tabled February 8, 2017.
Minnis added yesterday in his Facebook post, “We have seen the PLP sink to an all new low in their avoidance to relinquish power, as these are the actions of a desperate, power-hungry government who is facing its last days in office.
“This PLP ship is sinking fast and we should not be surprised by anything we see from them.
“The FNM is prepared to be the next government of The Bahamas and will uphold a standard of transformative leadership that all Bahamians can be proud of.”