So, it’s official: the North Abaco by-election will be on October 15th, 2012.
Earlier, former Prime Minister, and former Member of Parliament for the North Abaco constituency, Hubert Ingraham suggested that the North Abaco by-election may be as early as September 2nd, 2012.
But alas, that turned out not to be the case; as a little over a month later, current Prime Minister Perry Christie announced that October will be the month for the election, resulting in political pundits criticizing Christie’s administration as being late, yet again.
Campaigning In Abaco
For weeks now, both PLP and FNM campaign teams have been canvassing the North Abaco constituency.
In fact, during this year’s back-to-school season, PLP’s candidate Renardo Curry accompanied by PLP standout Ryan Pinder gave out school bags and accessories to North Abaco school students. Similarly, the FNM’s North Abaco candidate, Greg Gomez accompanied by St. Annes’ MP, Hubert Chipman donated laptops to the schools in the district.
Clearly, laptops trumped cheap school bags and pencils; but will these donations turn out to be the deciding factor in the upcoming by-election? We all will have to wait to see the end results.
Opposition Leader Hubert Minnis has been on the ground in North Abaco for some time now, attempting to connect with the people and to share the FNM’s vision for the North Abaco constituency. However, Prime Minister, Perry Christie has admitted that he has yet to visit the island since the general election, as he has been busy doing “prime ministerial duties”. (sigh)
Thank goodness, Brave Davis and some of the other ministers aren’t that busy with work to visit the island, for Curry would have been left alone, campaigning by himself, if he had to wait on Christie.
Who are the Candidates?
Thus far, the by-election in North Abaco appears to be localized; one must assume the candidates are engaging residents on a personal level, with the exception of the Independent candidates, the two major contenders have yet to make their rounds on the various talk shows to be interviewed or to expound upon their personal visions that they have for the constituency they are vying for.
It seems as if both PLP and FNM candidates are perpetually shepherd; both seem to be marshaled, and only able to regurgitate the party’s platform, which fails to have any direct benefit for North Abaco.
A decent biography of either candidate seems non-existent as little information of their past dealings are not known If the FNM did not release pictures of Gomez shaking people’s hands and kissing babies, one would have forgotten that he was even a candidate in this race.
Nevertheless, Curry has the advantage of being the PLP’s standard bearer for the North Abaco constituency for the past general election; whereas, Gomez who has been missing in action out of Abaco for some years, will have to rely upon the great works and the legacy of the past FNM member of parliament. If Ingraham plans to stay on to mentor Gomez, perhaps North Abaco will benefit indeed from his representation.
Recently, Christie reminded North Abaco constituents that a vote for Curry will put constituents in a “position to cause things to happen for them in the next five years in a more meaningful way than if they were to elect the opposition candidate.” Of course Minnis was forced to remind North Abaconians to pay little attention to Christie’s promises, as one only has to visit Chrisite’s constituency to see what he really has in store for North Abaco, -absolutely nothing, but mere talks!
Death threats and Counterfeit
But this by-election definitely will not be a sweep for any of the candidates. Hubert Minnis apparently has received death threats from at least one Abaco resident. The police is now dealing with that matter; but it will be interesting to see how the clannish community of North Abaco deals with having one of their own charged before the courts.
We all know that in the Bahamas, blood is thicker than water; and Desmond Bannister can testify that, one does not threaten island people with jail time during an election campaign, especially when they are related to everyone in the settlement. I guess Minnis soon learn this lesson as well.
There are also talks of counterfeit American money being floated around in Abaco. If this is true, and if the claims of counterfeit American monies being floating in North Andros and the Berry Islands are accurate, one may conclude that some Bahamian buey has a counterfeit money machine in their backroom somewhere, subsequently, a major investigation instead of talks must commence immediately.
Be that as it may, island people clearly do not hold their monies up to the light when they get it. I fear that island people just too darn trusting, and any sheep with long tail they see, they should suspect that they’re wolves waiting to devour them; wolves with yellow and red eyes and big teeth grinning.
Lets Do It For Charlie
In the end, it all will be about campaign strategy and money. The FNM say they aint broke no more; wow that was quick. And the PLP now has the government purse and a sack of endless supply of gold t-shirts, that one is forced to look through before putting on, just in case Santa left something in the sleeves.
Like the PLP who tend to evoke the spirit of the Pindling. Perhaps team Gomez needs to call upon Charlie. If they ga win, they have to win it for Charlie, just like how back in the day, the FNM won it for Chuck. Since this election won’t have posters of Ingraham and Christie all over the place, a well place picture of Charlie can make all the difference. Sadly, a picture of Minnis aint ga help the cause.
The truth is, the North Abaco seat was never a FNM seat, but in fact it was an Ingraham seat. The former FNM leader held it when he was a PLP, as an Independent, and finally as an FNM. North Abaco people trusted him and if he had dared to go green, North Abaco would have been green as Kermit the frog and liked it. This by-election is about trust and voter confidence, subsequently the person that wins this by-election would have gained the confidence of North Abaconians for the next five years.
– Cecil Newry