Save The Bays Congratulates Incoming Government, Urges Making Freedom of Information Act a Priority, Promises to Hold Their Feet to ‘da Fire

Hours after the Free National Movement swept the national elections in an historic vote, winning all but four seats in a 39-seat House of Assembly, one of the country’s most popular organisations offered congratulations and urged attention to what it called “promises Bahamians want fulfilled as top priorities.”

Chief among those, said Save The Bays, was delivering on a long-awaited Freedom of Information Act that would enable the people to know the people’s business. “Save The Bays congratulates Dr. Hubert Minnis and the members of the Free National Movement who now undertake the courageous and grave responsibility of defining the future of this great little country over the next five years,” said a statement by the environmental advocacy group. “For far too long, the people of The Bahamas have been kept in the dark about issues or decisions that affect them until it is too late. It is time to lift the veil of secrecy and for the people to be guaranteed the right to know the people’s business. It is time for light and transparency and only through a strong and genuine Freedom of Information Act can those rights be guaranteed.”

The statement said the group also wanted to see continued interaction with civil society andcommitment to public consultation, serious attention to electoral process reform including campaign finance, passage of a comprehensive environmental protection act, an end to unregulated development and equitable handling of Crown land applications with priority given to Bahamians. “While our priority is environment and sustainable development that does not trample of the rights of long-standing Bahamian communities, we want this government to know just as the former government knew that we are, in many ways, the watchdog for the many whose voices are silenced by fear of victimization. We will continue to hold everyone’s feet to the fire and truly hope that you will be successful in all you do in energizing the economy, managing debt and restoring faith in The Bahamas locally and abroad.”

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