“The name-calling and character smearing does nothing to add to the national discussion”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) President Bishop Delton Fernander called for the nation’s leaders and those seeking election to cease negative campaigning and instead focus on addressing the nation’s pressing matters.
In a statement issued on Monday night, Fernander expressed his concern with an apparent trend of vicious political attacks in ads being circulated in the public domain.
“We are witnessing, with concern, the negative advertisements being produced by political organizations and/or their surrogates for the consumption of the Bahamian people on television and social media,” the bishop said.
“We thought it important to draw attention to this issue, as it is feared that this behavior will only worsen as we draw nearer to Election Day.
“We are better than this.”
He added: “The name-calling and character smearing does nothing to add to the national discussion, nor does it bode well for the unity that will be necessary for us to move forward as a nation after Election Day.
“Surely, there must be better ways to communicate your points than what we have seen thus far.”
Both major political parties — the Free National Movement (FNM) as well as the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) — have ramped up digital and broadcast ads as the September 16 Election Day approaches.
But Fernander said leaders should instead prepare themselves to deal with the “myriad of challenges that need to be addressed” in The Bahamas.
“We need those who are vying to become our leaders to be able to contend with these issues competently and to the benefit of every Bahamian,” he said.
“Those who seek office and those who wish to retain it should understand the dire position that we are in as a nation and people and govern themselves accordingly.
“Every election is important and it is understood that everyone who has put themselves forward wants to be the victor at the polls, but we all must know that the will of God prevails in this and in all things.”
Fernander also said: “We are all Bahamians. We know how to conduct elections in decency and order. This time should be no different.
“We believe that the next five years will be pivotal to the growth and development of our country. We must approach this upcoming decision with the solemnity that it deserves.
“We call on all political organizations, their surrogates and supporters to rise to the occasion.”