Nassau, The Bahamas – In a written ruling of the election court challenge in the Pinewood constituency, Justices Anita Allen and Jon Isaacs cited that there are ‘egregious failures’ in the electoral registration system in The Bahamas.
“This case exposed the most egregious failures in the parliamentary system. The parliamentary commissioner failed, for whatever reason, to ensure the integrity of the registration process in Pinewood. It was indeed startling to the court that counsel for the petitioner and the first respondent were forced to concede that 85 of 183 votes challenged were unlawful votes,” the Justices ruling read.
“This case also revealed that far too many Bahamians are willing to take an oath without regard to truth and their promises before Almighty God. This court will be considering whether any person ought to be referred to the police authorities for appropriate action.”
The vote cast by a Jamaican national Manani Kijana Taylor was one such registered voter in the Pinewood constituency that proved where the processed was abused and corrupted, the Justices noted. The court was advised as to how Taylor bribed an official in the department for $1,000 and obtain more than one voters’ card.
“Perhaps the time is appropriate for the parliamentary commissioner to comprehensively examine the practices and procedures of the Parliamentary Registration Department with a view to ensuring that what we saw in Pinewood does no re-occur because it threatens to undermine the fundamental basis of our parliamentary democracy,” the Justices ruling said.