Constituencies Commission selected for appointment

Constituencies Commission selected for appointment
House Speaker Halson Moultrie (FILE PHOTO)

Minnis: “In 2022, the Bahamian populace will make their decision”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Consistencies Commission has been selected and is awaiting formal appointment by the Governor-General, according to House Speaker Halson Moultrie yesterday.

Moultrie, however, did not reveal the names of the members selected, noting that he did not want to preempt the process.

“I have received the nominations from the prime minister, the leader of the official opposition and the chief justice,” he told Parliament.

“Those names will then be forwarded to the Governor-General pursuant to the constitution for the formal appointment. Thereafter the commission will begin its work.”

The Constituencies Commission is responsible for the review of the boundaries of the constituencies throughout The Bahamas.

Article 70(1) of the constitution of The Bahamas states the commission “shall in accordance with the provisions of this article, at intervals of not more than five years, review the number and boundaries of the constituencies into which The Bahamas is divided and shall submit to the governor-general a single report either (a) stating that in the opinion of the commission, no change is required, or (b) recommending certain changes, and the governor-general shall cause such report to be laid before the House of Assembly forthwith”.

The last commission, chaired by former House Speaker Dr. Kendal Major, renamed the Montagu constituency to Free Town and adding the St. Barnabas constituency, making major changes to the boundaries.

The previous commission, headed by former House Speaker Alvin Smith, made changes and eliminated several constituencies ahead of the 2012 general election.

That commission eliminated Blue Hills, Clifton, Kennedy and St. Thomas More as constituency names, and created Nassau Village, Tall Pines and Southern Shores.

There have been continuous calls for the creation of an independent boundaries commission.

In the Speech from the Throne, the government promised to constitute an Independent Electoral Commission and Boundaries Commission, introduce term limits for prime ministers and introduce a system of recall for non-performing members of Parliament by referendum.

The government also promised campaign finance reform.

In January, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis reiterated his commitment to introducing campaign finance reform legislation, declaring to reporters as he rushed during the 2020 New Year’s Junkanoo parade that he has “seven more years” to put it in place and see it working.

Yesterday, as he defended the government’s mitigation efforts against the local spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said: “Many out there feel they can do a better job. In 2022, the Bahamian populace will make their decision. Whatever the outcome, I will accept.”