Campaign finance reform not currently a priority – Eye Witness News

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis said enacting campaign finance legislation, a pledge of his political party, is not a priority for the government at the moment.

The Progressive Liberal Party promised campaign finance reform in its Blueprint for Change manifesto and Davis has repeatedly expressed support for it.

Prime Minister Philip Davis at a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday.

Asked about it yesterday, he said: “I didn’t say when that was coming but right now there are other issues that impact the little person on the street, the little man on Ida Street who doesn’t know where the next meal is coming from, I’m more focusing on those issues at the moment.

“At the moment that’s not a priority for me. We are, the Bahamian people are ongoing much suffering and pain as a result of the issues that have occurred over the last four years and we’re trying to address those as a priority. Yes those matters are on our radar but they are not prioritized at this time.”

Successive administrations have come into office promising campaign finance legislation but failed to deliver.

When asked about his pledge, former Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis deflected by saying he will have two terms to bring the legislation.

“What I am concentrating on now is to close that gap in income inequality and to allow more to share in the wealth,” he said in 2018.

At the time, Davis said it would have been irresponsible for Minnis not to bring campaign finance legislation before the next election, saying the legislation was among the “low hanging fruits” the Free National Movement promised.

“You don’t need nothing complicated or great hurdles to cross but again, as is typical, they had a campaign about things they thought people wanted to hear to get elected, they didn’t truly want to implement transformative policies,” he said at the time.

Likewise, former Prime Minister Perry Christie once said campaign finance in the country had sunken to “repugnant” and sometimes “criminal” levels. However, his administration also failed to reform the area.

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