Upcoming Bahamas referendum could be cancelled
NASSAU, Bahamas, Aug. 10, CMC - National Security Minister Dr Bernarnd Nottage has hinted at the possibility of not having a national referendum on November 6 if unanimous support of the proposed constitutional amendments on gender equality is not forthcoming.
Nottage, who also has responsibility of elections, in reiterating a statement from the prime minister, said a referendum would not be held without agreement between the parties concerned.
He also believes the questions should be simplified for the average Bahamian.
The Perry Christie led administration recently tabled four bills to amend the constitution.
The bills will institute full equality between men and women on matters of citizenship and will eliminate discrimination based on sex.
Debate on the bills began last Wednesday and should continue this week.
Leader of the opposition Free National Movement, Dr Hubert Minnis, has already stated that the party will not oppose the bills.
However, the member of parliament for the constituency of Tall Pines, Leslie Miller, is concerned about one of the bills, saying he does not believe that a foreign man should be granted automatic citizenship if he marries a Bahamian woman.
That amendment seeks to enable a Bahamian woman who marries a foreign man to secure the same access to Bahamian citizenship that a Bahamian man enjoys under the constitution as it relates to his foreign spouse.
Another area of concern surrounds the questions related to the constitutional amendments.
The government has budgeted US$1.4 million for the upcoming referendum.
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