As of Tuesday, March 21, there were 142,742 voters officially registered in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. This information was released by the Parliamentary Registration Department in the capital island of New Providence.
Among the lot, Grand Bahama factors 25,578 registered voters.
That breakdown has 5,629 from Central Grand Bahama, 5,538 -East Grand Bahama, 5,361-Marco City, 4,665-Pineridge, and 4,394-West Grand Bahama/Bimini.
There is still time left for additional registrations so the expectation is that despite the slow early focus nationally, a goodly number of those entitled will be eligible to vote during the general elections at polling divisions throughout the archipelago. In Grand Bahama, as of the close of March 21, the registration was down 17.91 percent compared to 2012.
That variance will no doubt change as Prime Minister Perry Christie is not inclined, we think, to ring the bell, name the actual date of general elections for some more days yet. The belief here is that there is some housekeeping still to be done by the Progressive Liberal Party Government of The Bahamas before Christie does which only he has the power to do.
No doubt, the National Health Insurance Act is an item of priority. It would simply be disgraceful if this Christie Government does not deliver to the people of The Bahamas, National Health Insurance.
It is now almost 20 years since an aspiring prime minister boldly told voters that a Christie administration would straight away make arrangements to establish National Health Insurance. On the campaign trail, leading up to the general elections of 2002, National Health Insurance was the biggest PLP plank.
Christie was successful and proudly presented his New PLP Government to the country with the distinct promise of National Health Insurance. Five years went by and Christie failed on that particular promise. The PLP was kicked out by the people in preference for the Free National Movement Party Government in 2007, but returned Christie and company once again in 2012.
There was of course, the same promise, put on the table by Christie. Now, in the waning days of this second Christie term as prime minister, we submit that getting National Health Insurance established is a major issue for him.
So, indeed there is some more work to be done before Christie informs the nation of the general elections date. We continue to hear, that May 2 will be the date, or somewhere near.
Whatever the case, the statistics indicate that the registration is set as of now, in full satisfaction of the numbers for meaningful representation of the country’s population at the polls.
Published Thursday, March 23, 2017