Nassau, Bahamas — Concerns are already being raised with the Parliamentary Registration Department and charges of corruption are being raised against Parliamentary Commissioner, Errol Bethel.
Bahamas Press has learnt scores of registrants is being turned away at the department and as one voter described “MASS CONFUSION” has set in as to what the requirements of the registration process are.
A voter in the Pinewood Constituency has told BP, she was denied the right to register following confusion at the registration office as to what documents were correct for presentation.
“I brought in my new electronic passport to begin my registration for the elections on Monday. The officer told me that she was unable to register me because I had moved from my former constituency of Elizabeth, and therefore, my former registration card was needed in order to complete the registration process.
“Why do I need the old voter’s card? Wasn’t it said that we should present our passports in order to register? What if I brought in my old card, then they would tell me I need my driver’s license. This is incredible!” the irate voter told BP.
On November 13th the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner issued the following requirements necessary in order to complete the registration process:
Applicant for registration must provide Proof of Citizenship, preferably;
(a) A Valid Bahamian Passport OR
(b) A Birth Certificate along with an official ID, AND other documents (as requested);
(c) A current voter’s card, along with other reasonable documents (as requested).
Despite this clear notice, eager voters rushing to register are being turned away and have now landed charges against officers within the department. “While refusing persons with valid passports, a considerable number of voters are being registered with driver’s license. This is an infraction as spell out in the department’s November release,” an observer in the department said.
A former worker in the registration department told BP, “This is the time when the silly season brings forth fruits to some people in Bethel’s office. We all remember the hightail drama, which unfolded in the Pinewood elections were a Jamaican national was issued not one, but two voters card by Errol Bethel’s department and yet despite him reaching the age of retirement, Hubert Ingraham and his WUTLESS Cabinet has agreed to allow the man to stay on for two more years.”
Justice Anita Allen and Jon Isaacs sat over the election cases of 2007 where they ruled “EGREGIOUS FAILURES” on the part of the Parliamentary Commissioner, Errol Bethel, has corrupted the Bahamian Electoral process. The last election proved that a number of non-Bahamians voted or had in their possession valid voters cards.
Readers would remember the drama from BEC, where the Corporation officials refused to co-operate and provide evidence in the Pinewood Election case. Justice Allen slammed the Bahamas Electricity Corporation for not co-operating; calling the actions by officials disgusting.
Current General Manager, Kevin Basden, failed to show up for the court hearing in the first instance, and had to be summons or face contempt for refusing to give evidence.
Similar actions followed by officials the Department of Immigration, which initially told the court they had no file on a Jamaican national who voted in Pinewood, but later after lying to the court, Acting Director Campbell showed up with the file and confirmed that indeed a man [Manny Kajani Taylor], a Jamaican national, was not entitled to vote.
Despite all these glaring facts of CORRUPTION, on the weekend during his meet the press event, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham maintained he has all confidence in the world in the Parliamentary Commissioner, and suggested that there is nothing wrong with the registration process in the Bahamas.
Members of the Progressive Liberal Party have called for the resignation of Commissioner Bethel, and have gone on record calling for the department to enact new measures as outlines for the registration process by the Election Court.
On another note, Bahamas Press has been advised a senior goon in the FNM is receiving daily updates from the department in question, on persons registering. We are told that intel is being moved through the Party’s ground machine late into the night.