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PM slams PLP for failing to present boundaries proposal

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said on Wednesday that this was the first time in 20 years that an Official Opposition has not presented a counter proposal to the Boundaries Commission.

Ingraham was closing debate in Parliament on an order that gave effect to the Boundaries Commission report.

“This is the only time that an opposition in the last 20 years had no proposal to make — none,” he said.

“The minutes said [Deputy Chairman of the Commission Justice Stephen Isaacs] asked the member for Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador [Philip ‘Brave’ Davis] if he had a counter proposal to what the [Free National Movement] members brought.”

Ingraham pointed out that the minutes said, “Mr. Davis assured Justice Isaacs that he had intended to submit a counter proposal and he wanted to do so earlier that day.  That was his intention.

“However, the leader of the opposition (Perry Christie) had informed him, Mr. Davis, that he had spoken with the prime minister who indicated that he intended to make fundamental changes to the proposals.”

Ingraham said, “Now of course that is not true. The judge was told something that is an untruth. Whether or not it was untrue as spoken by the member for Cat Island or whether it was an untruth as told to him, whoever it is, they told the judge a lie.”

Ingraham noted that members of the opposition did not contribute any proposals or changes to the report during the debate either.

“This is the first time since I became leader of the Free National Movement in 1990 that no proposal came from the opposition about boundary changes. The first time,” he emphasized.

“In ‘92 when I was leader of the opposition we made proposals.  In ‘97 when I was the government the [Progressive Liberal Party] made proposals.

“In 2002, the same thing;  In 2007, same thing.

“Not this time.  In fact, some of the boundary lines that we eventually agreed [to in the past] were as a result of agreements between both sides.

“In 2007, the commission members had agreed — I am advised — on 16 of the 24 boundary lines in [New Providence], until the PLP changed its mind the next day.

“Sixteen out of 24 had been agreed by both sides. Then the following day those 16 were changed radically, and the next day a new seat was created.”

Ingraham continued, “I heard the leader of the opposition with a straight face say that he is now required to go and campaign in an area where there are 1,200 new voters and how unfair that is.

“It was not unfair in his view when he created a new constituency entirely, six weeks before election day (in 2007).

“It didn’t bother him when in 2007 he created an entirely new seat called Clifton, six weeks before election day.  That was okay.  Now months before an election is due, additional people are put in his constituency, he gets on TV and whines like a cry baby, ‘oh look at what they [are] doing to me’.

“…So I thought it was grossly unfair on his part to come here and complain about this matter after he had taken care of himself.

“And in order to take care of him we had to go into Englerston.”

The House on Wednesday evening approved an order that will provide for the creation of

three new seats on New Providence: Nassau Village; Southern Shores and Tall Pines.

Blue Hills, Clifton, St. Cecilia, Kennedy and St. Thomas More are being eliminated.

The resolution was passed with three modifications: the St. Cecilia name will be eliminated as opposed to the Englerston name, which was proposed by the commission; Bain Town and Grants Town will be Bains Town and Grants Town; and Central and South Andros (as proposed by the commission) was changed to Mangrove Cay and South Andros.

The House of Assembly was adjourned to December 7.

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