December 16, 2016
Boundaries Commission Chairman and Speaker of the House of Assembly Dr. Kendal Major confirmed yesterday that 39 seats in the House of Assembly will be contested in the next general election, with only one new constituency to be created throughout the country - St. Cecilia on New Providence.
As reported by The Nassau Guardian last week, portions of Fort Charlotte, Bains Town and Grants Town, Centerville and Englerston will be redrawn to form the reconstituted constituency, which was eliminated ahead of the 2012 general election and divided among Bains Town, Centerville and Englerston.
Major said at this stage the government is largely agreeable to the commission's changes to the boundaries. He said with St. Anne's MP Hubert Chipman replacing East Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest on the commission, the members will meet over the holidays to complete their report, which is expected to be tabled by the government when the House of Assembly resumed on January 9, 2017.
"We are very close to the extent that the government seems to have been settled on its intent," Major said.
"The biggest part of the work is usually agreeing within itself before it brings its intent to the commission.
"The purpose of the other commission [members], myself, deputy, and also the opposition, is to look at it, and either agree, disagree of make adjustments thereto.
"Most of the work, to be honest with you, has been waiting on the government."
He continued, "Between now and when we will return, we will probably meet about two times and that should be it."
Other members of the commission include Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis, Marathon MP Jerome Fitzgerald, and Senior Supreme Court Justice Stephen Isaacs, the deputy chair of the commission.
According to the data obtained, the newly configured map for the 2017 general election shows several changes that could mean many Bahamians who have not moved will find themselves voting in different constituencies or polling divisions than they did in the last election.
For example, St. Anne's shows big potential changes with polling divisions six and eight folded into Fox Hill, while gaining two polling divisions from Elizabeth - 10 and 12 - which are south of Yamacraw.
A large part of Sea Breeze - polling divisions nine and 12 - is expected to be folded into the Elizabeth constituency.
Sea Breeze would also be redrawn to include polling divisions two and 11 of Fox Hill.
Meanwhile, a portion of South Beach - polling division 10 - would be made a part of Southern Shores.
Additionally, polling divisions one and 11 of Mount Moriah would become part of Tall Pines, while Tall Pines' polling division one would be folded into Garden Hills, according to the data.
Golden Gates is also set for a change, expanding to include polling division 10 of Garden Hills.
The last changes in boundaries came in 2011.
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News date : 12/16/2016 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories