The passing of the Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini, the Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe on September 25th has left a seat in the House of Assembly vacant.

The Clerk of the House of Assembly David Forbes told ZNS News, “well it was a shock for us all, you know, Minister Wilchcombe was the leader of government business in the House. And so my communication, my interaction, my professional relationship with him was very close. We coordinated on everything that was going to happen in the House of Assembly and strategized on as to the best way forward in the everything that the government was seeking to do.”

Wilchcombe’s passing has set a chain of required events in motion according to the law of The Bahamas. “The Governor General has to be officially informed by the Speaker that the Member has died and then the Governor General will be issue a writ of election for an election in that constituency, West End and Bimini and the election itself will happen no less than 21 days thereafter and no more than 30 days.”

The last sitting Member of Parliament to pass away was the late Charles Virgil who was murdered in 1997.