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Election Observers: Bahamas needs Campaign finance reform and electronic voting

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Bahamas, May 12th 2017 – Nassau – Now that the election is official over, preliminary reports coming from the electoral observers suggest that the lack of technology available for the electoral process within the Bahamas posed a real problem and puts The Bahamas behind Caribbean counterparts.

Chief of Mission, Josephine Tami revealed, “Definitely we will be looking at the boundaries commissioner, the issue of technology – that’s a major issue that can create improvement, and campaign financing regulations. Those would be the top three.”

Focusing on technology, Caricom Deputy Chief of Mission, Orrette Fisher stated, “You [the Bahamas] are behind the rest of the Caribbean in that regard.” Pointing to some of his observations, Fisher also revealed, “The list of advancing polling, that the people who applied were unable to go online and to confirm whether or not they were eligible to vote on that date. I think the whole issue of how the application is made to be on that list, and then the manual entry of the people in the list.”  The observer believed that many of the problems also encountered during the pre-polling activities could have been averted with an electronic system.

As far as recommendations are concerned, Mr. Fisher then suggested, “Having an entire database and then extracting the list from that would have been a much cleaner process and the technology is available and is being used elsewhere. So I think that is something that would definitely require some consideration and there are other areas within which technology can be used to advance the process.”

With regards to campaign financing regulations, OAS Ombudsman, Sherry Tross stated,  “The mission heard concerns from several stakeholders regarding the influence of foreign money in the current electoral process and the absence of a level playing field. The Bahamas has no regulations regarding political – electoral financing or disclosure of sources of funding. There is no public funding for political parties or candidates; meaning electoral campaigns are privately funded. The origin of private funds is not regulated and there are no prohibitions on foreign and anonymous sources. Also, the Bahamas sets no limits on campaign spending and political parties are not required to disclose their finances.” Tross added,  “In order to guarantee a more level playing field and transparency in the electoral process… the mission urges the Bahamas, once more, to consider introducing legislation to regulate political campaign financing.”

The 11-member team of observes deployed by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS) arrived in the Bahamas on May 4th 2017 and held discussions with national stakeholders, including the major political parties, civil society and members of the international community. They also visited 223 polling stations across 20 constituencies during the election period.

 Story By: Kay-Marie Fletcher

#MagneticMediaNews

#ElectoralObservers

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49th Independence Anniversary Celebrations Kick Off with National Pride Day

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#TheBahamas, June 27, 2022 – Under the theme: “Proud to Be Bahamian”, the National Independence Secretariat is set to kick off the 49th Independence Celebrations on Friday, July 1, 2022.

In its efforts to promote pride and unity throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the Secretariat is encouraging a National Flag Raising Ceremony be held at all Government, and private corporate offices.

This ceremony should be staged at 9am on the Friday, simultaneously.

Bahamians are urged to wear the national colours of aquamarine, gold and black and assemble together as the National Flag is being hoisted and to sing the National Anthem, followed by a prayer.

The Secretariat is also encouraging participants to capture the event in photos and or videos, for posting on social media platforms, and inclusion in the national jubilee booklet and documentary next year.

Send images to: info@celebrate-bahamas.com

 

Photo Caption: Sienna Evans beautiful costume was created by Patrice Lockhart. Special thanks to Commonwealth Fabrics for their generous donation of the Androsia fabric used in the gown.

 

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Bahamian NGO Beneath the Waves to Attend UN Ocean Conference in Portugal

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#TheBahamas, June 27, 2022 – Research scientists from the Bahamian and US-registered non-government organization Beneath the Waves will participate in the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal from June 27 – July 1 where thousands are expected to gather in an effort to find innovative solutions to the climatic and natural events impacting the health of the world’s oceans.

“The UN Ocean Conference, which the Government of The Bahamas and Beneath the Waves are attending, will bring together experts from around the globe at a time when there is growing concern about the warming of the waters and rising seas, a combination that makes the threat of stronger storms striking with less warning a new reality,” said Beneath the Waves CEO Dr. Austin Gallagher.

“We are pleased to offer findings from our long-term research that we have conducted in The Bahamas for more than a decade, specifically around the concept of blue carbon and nature-based solutions to climate change.”

Beneath the Waves is a specially-accredited NGO at the UN, and was pleased that multiple high-ranking Bahamian officials, experts, and advisors would be attending the conference as well.

Gallagher added: “During the conference, we will join The Bahamas in hosting a side event on blue carbon with other leaders from the Ministries from Indonesia and Australia. The Bahamas delegation will be demonstrating the strong leadership position of The Bahamas in this domain – now and moving forward.”

According to the UN’s conference site, the ocean nurtures 800% of life on the planet, generates 50% of the oxygen we breathe and absorbs 25% of all carbon dioxide emissions and provides food, jobs and energy.

Beneath the Waves has used sophisticated camera equipment to record data from the ocean floor and has utilized sharks as research partners to map seafloor and seagrass habitat throughout the islands.

In one expedition off Nassau, the team placed a 360-degree camera on a large tiger shark that was safely captured off a shallow bank in the Coral Harbour area, another first for marine science. The individual sampled autonomously for one hour with images covering four 90-degree quadrants (almost 25,000 square meters of seafloor). In that period of time, the camera recorded and captured 224 habitat assessments, uncovering lush seagrass meadows previously unknown. In the coming weeks and months, the group plans to share new and exciting results from its research.

 

Release: Beneath the Waves

Photo Caption: Dr. Austin Gallagher, pictured with large Caribbean reef shark in The Bahamas, will head the Bahamian and US-registered NGO Beneath the Waves contingent attending the United Nations Ocean Conference in Portugal this week. (Photo by Diego Camejo)

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Grand Bahama youth encouraged to take advantage of summer job programme

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By: Robyn Adderley

Bahamas Information Services

 

#TheBahamas, June 27, 2022 – Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey encouraged young people enrolled in the Grand Bahama Summer Youth Employment Programme 2022 to take advantage of every opportunity presented, during their period of employment.

The Minister gave this charge during orientation for both summer sessions at a ceremony at the Grand Lucayan Convention Center, June 27.

She said, “I hope that your participation in this programme will open doors to your future career path, give you access to employment opportunities, stir up your creativity and get you excited about the future.”

Telling the young people that as the country’s future leaders the government believes in them, the Minister added, “We are also pleased to continue to highlight the prestigious INNOVATION AWARD (an annual competition launching this Summer) where a $50,000 cash prize will be given to the best app developed by a Bahamian under 25. I know we have some gifted tech leaders here today. I encourage you to participate.

“As the young leaders of today and tomorrow, you have the passion and energy and commitment to make a difference. We are counting on you.”

Reiterating that there is a bright future ahead for the island, the Minister added that the government is working tirelessly to “bring the Grand” back into Grand Bahama.

“The government is committed to creating initiatives that partner with young Bahamians with bright minds like you to ensure that you have a seat at the table and are involved in the economic development of our nation.

“In ‘Our Blueprint for Change’, we have outlined our detailed plan for ensuring that upcoming generations have a promising and sustainable future.”

Mentioning the ‘Empower Grand Bahama’ programme, Minister Moxey explained that it is designed to empower entrepreneurs through training, mentorship and funding the creative industry, also known as the Orange Economy.

“Through our new ‘Collab: Partnerships for Development’ Unit, future plans to launch more initiatives are in the works with corporate stakeholders who understand the importance of social responsibility and investing in the people of Grand Bahama.

“With Grand Bahama positioned as the “Home of Entertainment”, “Home of Maritime and Logistics” and “Innovation City”, blossoming Orange, Blue and Green Economies will be instrumental in diversifying our economic model which will subsequently stimulate new opportunities for young Bahamians.”

The participants also received guidance on how to present themselves, conduct themselves and how to get sorted out for payment. To facilitate them, presentations were given by Mrs. Tertanya Miller, Senior Executive Officer at the Department of Public Service; Mrs. Melony Acuna-Sanchez, Ministry for Grand Bahama; and Ms. Shakeva Davis, from the Treasury Department.

A representative from the Bank of The Bahamas was present to explain what they would need to open an account there; the summer participants were also informed that Commonwealth Bank will have a special day to accommodate opening accounts for them, if necessary.

Both July and August sessions were present for orientation.

“In closing, I charge you all to work hard on your summer jobs in the weeks ahead; take advantage of every opportunity, make yourselves indispensable, become a contributing member of the team and learn all you can from your employers,” Minister Moxey said.

 

Photo Captions: 

Header: Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey, on Monday, June 27, encouraged hundreds of young people participating in the Grand Bahama Summer Youth Employment Application 2022 to take advantage of the opportunity presented.

1st insert: Hundreds of students were at the Grand Lucayan Resort on Monday, June 27, for the Grand Bahama Summer Youth Employment Programme 2022 Orientation. Following the ceremony, the students for the July and August sessions were given their letters of employment.

2nd insert: Following orientation for the Grand Bahama Summer Youth Employment Programme 2022, Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey, assisted with the distribution of employment letters. The event was held at Grand Lucayan Resort on Monday.

3rd insert: John Poitier Jr., the Youth in Parliament for Pineridge Constituency was present for the Grand Bahama Summer Youth Employment Programme 2022 Orientation held at Grand Lucayan Resort on Monday, June 27. Mr. Poitier, a recent graduate of Tabernacle Baptist Academy, will attend Virginia State University in the Fall on a full scholarship, where he will pursue Pre-med Biology.  Mr. Poitier is seen with Minister for Grand Bahama the Hon. Ginger Moxey

(BIS Photos/Andrew Miller)

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