Prime Minister Philip Brave is giving “serious consideration” to the creation of fixed dates for general elections, Office of the Prime Minister Press Secretary Clint Watson said yesterday.
“The prime minister would have spoken and expressed serious concern during the last campaign with, before we even knew an election date, how it was being used almost like a ‘we know, you don’t know,’ kind of thing,” Watson said.
“It was very disruptive in so many ways and forms and it’s led to him giving serious consideration. So I believe in another few months, we will be able to speak definitively on it.
“I can tell though in talking with the prime minister, it is under serious consideration.”
Both the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Free National Movement (FNM) have promised to create fixed election dates.
Ahead of the 2012 general election, while serving as deputy leader of the party, Davis said the PLP would commit to fixed election dates if elected.
“No one man should hold a country hostage,” he said in April 2012.
“And this is why our party leader has committed, as the next prime minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, to a fixed election date. No more guessing when the bell will ring.”
The PLP was elected to government during that election but did not deliver on this promise.
Neither did the FNM which campaigned on a transparency and accountability platform ahead of the 2017 general election.
Before he was elected prime minister in that election, Dr. Hubert Minnis promised that an FNM government would create a fixed election date, a recall system for MPs, a campaign finance law, a term limit for prime minister, an independent electoral commission and an independent boundaries commission.
In May, when pressed on those issues, Minnis said he still believes them to be important, but his government had been limited by external factors.