Lavado Duncanson named as acting parliamentary commissioner

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Former Parliamentary Commissioner Sherlyn Hall suggested yesterday that the recent establishment of a continuous voter’s register using the voter’s register from the last general election, sets the “record straight” over the competency of his tenure and the integrity of that register.

In a letter to the editor, titled “Who will replace P Turner as parliamentary commissioner?”, Hall said he wished to set the “record straight” on the creation and genesis of the now permanent voter’s register.

Hall wrote: “I am encouraged by Jesus’ advice [and] instruction in Matthew 5:16: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ And so I do. God, in his divine providence, has honored and enabled the undersigned to serve as parliamentary commissioner from November 2012 to May 4, 2017.

“The record will show that I successfully conducted, coordinated and hosted the referendum on web shops to legalize gambling on Monday, January 28, 2013, as well as the constitutional gender equality referendum on June 7, 2016.

“During the referenda and elections, advanced poll voting was also held at 13 Bahamian embassies and foreign missions at the following overseas locations: London, United Kindgom; Geneva, Switzerland; Beijing, China; Ottawa, Canada; Washington, DC, New York, Atlanta, Georgia, and Miami, Florida, in the USA; Haiti; Havana, Cuba; Kingston, Jamaica; Trinidad; and Bridgetown, Barbados.”

Hall said during his tenure, he conducted local government elections on the Family Islands in June 2014 and school board elections in October of that year.

Reflecting on the establishment of the continuous voter’s register, Hall said with the assistance of public servants within the Parliamentary Registration Department, he created and instituted the 2017 electoral register of voters on July 15, 2016, that has now evolved into the continuous or permanent voter’s register, “to the glory of God”.

“I also prepared all of the electoral paraphernalia and protocols to conduct the general election on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.”

Amid the last general election, several parties asserted there were irregularities with the register.

But Hall assured at the time that the register was certified in accordance with the law.

There were also reports of errors in the register, including wrong dates being stamped on voter’s cards.

In the lead-up to the election, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham suggested Hall was not up to the task of conducting a general election and called on then Prime Minister Perry Christie to fire him.

More than 180,000 people registered to vote in the election.

Hall’s three-year contract as parliamentary commissioner expired on May 4, 2017 — four days before the general election.

The government replaced him with Charles Albury, the former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism.

Sherlyn Hall serves as an associate minister at Zion Baptist Church, and as the National Chaplain of the Boys’ Brigade in The Bahamas.

“I thank God for his divine providence and the support of former Prime Minister Perry Christie and his Cabinet in affording me the opportunity to serve our nation in the capacity of parliamentary commissioner,” Hall said.

“May God almighty continue to bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”

Turner, who replaced Albury in October 2017, was reappointed undersecretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture on December 23, 2020.

In an inter-governmental statement dated January 14, 2021, the Cabinet Office announced Lavado Duncanson, the former deputy permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, has been named as acting parliamentary commissioner.

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