The unexpected passing of the late Hon. Obie Wilchcombe, who was the Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini, has triggered the mechanisms in law to fill the vacancy in the House of Assembly.
Acting Parliamentary Commissioner Arthur Taylor spoke to ZNS News about the process. He said, “what happens is until the writ is read we still continue on with registrations and transfers especially in that constituency. Persons will be able to go in and do transfer if the need to. Those who would have moved into the area, West End or Bimini, and not transferred moving to other areas in either Grand Bahama or wherever in The Bahamas, you know especially in Bimini where they have persons going in the hotel, looking for employment who now want to be a part of the process.”
Taylor says registrations and transfers for the West Grand Bahama and Bimini constituency are taking place at the Administrators Office in Bimini and in Eight Mile Rock and Freeport, Grand Bahama. There are currently 5,689 people registered to vote.
As to the readiness of the Parliament Registration Department for the upcoming by-election Taylor said, “fortunately for us we’re preparing now for the junior local government elections and one or two union elections which had us preparing ballot boxes and the kind and getting our booths and kits and thing ready for those elections. So this is just allow us now to increase the number of things we were doing just now. So those preparations are underway. The next step is to, of course, start to train persons who are going to be working in those areas. The returning officer will get his people together, presiding officers for the polls themselves. Prior to we want to do a full forensic of the voting register in West End and Bimini meaning a scrutinary exercise we call it where you go down there. If you have 5,000 voters, we find all 5,000 of them, make sure they are who they are.”
The Acting Commissioner will travel to the West Grand Bahama and Bimini constituency this weekend.