Ingraham…A sore loser, you are, indeed

0
1342

Forrester Carroll-1Dear Editor,

The man is delusional; a sore loser-the man is a despot. There is absolutely no appeal, of an election court decision-in the Bahamas period, full stop-and Ingraham knows that fact, very well. After all he is one of the architects who initiated, and caused to be brought into force, the law which governs the conduct of Elections in this country. So either he is delusional or he thinks we are stupid; but I can assure him that we are far from being the latter.

After coercing Kenyatta Gibson and getting him to cross the floor to join his rag-tag team of parliamentary miss-fits, Ingraham began working on, what he knew was another very weak link in the PLP’s parliamentary group-Malcolm Adderley. He baited Malcolm with a “Board Chairmanship” and then let him linger in that position until he (Ingraham) thought the time was right for an “Adderley switch of allegiance” from the PLP to his rag-tag team of frightened little ”Yasser- boss” pigmy MPs. From his prospectus Ingraham planned it well, he thought, so as to catch the PLP off guard; but little did he know that the PLP had given up on Malcolm’s allegiance a long time before.

As a matter of fact when Adderley accepted the Chairmanship, of that government corporation, from the FNM and agreed to serve at Ingraham’s pleasure, just after the May 2007 general elections, the PLP gave up on the traitor. He had crossed the political line, at that point, and the PLP knew that it was only a matter of time, before the rascal took flight.
With their Plans in place the FNM quickly moved to put the rumor on the street, that Malcolm Adderley would be resigning his seat in the parliament, on a date yet to be announced but imminent. The news was that he opted to resign in order for him to take up a position as a Judge in the country’s Supreme Court. The implied consequence of Malcolm’s anticipated decision would mean a by-election, for sure, in his constituency of Elizabeth and big, bad, almighty Hubert Ingraham didn’t think his incumbent FNM government could lose it.

As a matter of fact he boastfully declared later on, during the campaign, that the FNM would beat the PLP by some 300 votes. Alas he thought he had his PLP rival on the ropes and on the run, and so he fast forwarded all the FNM propaganda he, and his government, could muster up.

His assertions, boasting confidently, about a 300 vote winning majority, I submit, was based on what we (PLP) believed him to know of the shenanigans and scheming of his government behind the scenes-i.e. the alleged padding of the register by strategically planting some 700 voters, in their attempt to make sure that the winning edge goes in favor of the FNM. Yes 700 plus, new registrants, appeared on the register, of voters for Elizabeth, and no one seems to be able to account for such a large number being registered in such a short period of time.

The parliamentary registration department couldn’t account for them but just think; they were the ones who registered the persons in the first place, so how could they not know who they were and where they lived? Yet they claimed they didn’t know who they were, neither where they were living-no one knew nor could account for the new votes in the area. The PLP expressed its discontent with the final certification of the register, at the time, but strangely enough Ingraham didn’t; he said that he and the FNM were quite satisfied that the voters, whose names appeared on the register, were all legitimate and that there was no need for concern on their (FNM) part. What was more puzzling, though, was the fact that while Ingraham was expressing his satisfaction with the register and assuring the public that he had no difficulty with the names thereon, he was simultaneously accusing Glenys Hanna-Martin’s campaign group of transferring voters from her constituency, by the bus loads he charged, to that of Elizabeth; which she, of course, denied vehemently.

Malcolm Adderley-that erstwhile Member of Parliament for Elizabeth-resigned his seat, as was rumored, and the much talked about by-election was set for February 16th. The PLP was fully prepared for the announcement and jumped in with both feet with all its forces and machinery; motivated, geared up and ready for action.

This shocked the hell out of Ingraham and his fractured, demoralized FNM organization-so much so that they appeared punch drunk. They didn’t seem able to organize themselves well enough to do anything right in their campaign. Their walkabouts were scanty in attendance; their rallies were not very well attended and their start up campaign lacked coordination, to say the least. Eventually, rallies that were planned and organized, by them, were being cancelled at the last minute with all kinds of lousy, illogical excuses given.

From our vantage point it seemed that their campaign was in total disarray and a total bust from the inside out. Their goon squads attempted to disrupt a PLP rally one night and to their shock and amazement, PLPs were ready for them. Our boys chased them and their noise making truck out of the area and our meeting went on without any further interruption.  It was clear from all indicators that the PLP’s campaign, compared to theirs, was a class act.

The PLP maintained the momentum from the start of the campaign, right through the election process to the finish line. Notwithstanding the FNM’s rhetoric in the aftermath, and an election court case to confirm what we knew already, as it turned out the PLP did win the contest on the ground, on Election Day, by three votes.hubert-11

The judges ruled, and rightfully so, that the five protest votes (which would decide the final outcome) cast in PLP Ryan Pinder’s favor and which the FNM operatives claimed, on election day, were not entitled to be included in the official tally, were indeed legitimate votes and should be added to Pinder’s score, giving him 1504 votes to FNM Dr. Duane Sands’ 1501, clearing the way for Mr. Pinder to be declared the official winner.

Ingraham claimed to be in shock over the decision of the judges, but whether he in fact was or just pretending he was, he didn’t like the decision one bit. The man went ballistic; talking all sorts of nonsense, while using very subtle language in a clear attempt to disguise what he really wanted to say, I submit, and that was to accuse the court of malfeasance.

He inferred that an appeal, to a higher court, was an option open to the FNM and herein lays my disgusts with his continued hypocrisy. As my opening statement reminds us, there is no appeal of rulings made by judges in election court matters and Hubert Ingraham knows that fact better than any judge, jury or lawyer in this country, so why was he being so obnoxious and disingenuous?

Was he trying to give comfort to disappointed FNM supporters who believed him, when he told them that he would win by 300 votes? What exactly was his objective for stating something that he knew to be misleading and untruthful? You lost, Ingraham, get over it; and with respect to the ruling, the judges did not dispute that there was one of the five voters who the presiding officer should not have allowed to vote but having done so, it invoked the jurisdiction of the election court, as well, based on the court’s terms of reference in this particular case. Reading the court’s judgment, it was made quite clear to me that the presiding officer, made an error and fell down on his/her job, not the election court. Under Section 58 (1) (a) (b) & (c) & section 69 (4) the judges were obliged to examine and judge the qualification of voter “F” as well; it was not for them neither was it in their purview to determine (as they said in their ruling) what the presiding officer knew, at the time, or was thinking about when he/she allowed the person to vote; consequently it was not for them to qualify or disqualify the voter on that basis. Their yardstick was limited to establishing whether the voter was a Bahamian citizen; older than 18 years and ordinarily resident in the constituency, for more than six months.

But even if the court had disallowed this vote Ryan Pinder, for your information Hubert Ingraham, would still have been declared the winner by a majority of two; so what is your beef? A sore loser, you are, indeed.

Forrester J Carroll J.P
Freeport, Grand Bahama
3rd April 2010.