Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dr. Duane Sands Dissatisfied With Elizabeth by-election Results


He was declared the unofficial winner of the much anticipated and hotly contested Elizabeth by-election, but Free National Movement (FNM) candidate Dr. Duane Sands only won the election by one point – almost 300 votes less than Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham had previously predicted.

Dr. Sands admitted last night that he was not too happy with the way things went at the polls.

Slightly disappointed with the close finish at the polls, the FNM candidate said the results have left him with a bit of uncertainty.

"It is not the type of feeling that I would have hoped to have had at this point. I imagine that [Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) candidate] Ryan Pinder is feeling similarly and that is almost unsure of what [Wednesday] is going to bring," Dr. Sands said.

While uncertainty looms about who the official winner is up to this point, Dr. Sands said he feels that he is more or less in a better position that Mr. Pinder.

"I prefer, however, to be in a position where I am one point up as opposed to one point down. But to be quite honest with you this is not going to be the jubilant night that we all expected," he said.

The exhausting campaign trail took the FNM candidate from door-to-door in the Elizabeth constituency and even to the houses of those that did not support him.

Even with that, Dr. Sands said he never doubted his success at the polls.

"I never doubted that I would win this election, but, we always gave the voters the respect that they deserved and you can see that one vote made all the difference," he said.

The ballots are scheduled to be recounted today and there is a possibility that Mr. Pinder might be declared the official winner.

If he loses, Dr. Sands said he would focus his energy on running in the 2012 General Election.

"If I do not win it’ll be over at this point, but now we [will have to] get on with the business of taking care of the people’s needs in Elizabeth," he said.

"If I don’t win I will be back practicing medicine and will return to seek the seat in Elizabeth in the 2012 election."

Dr. Sands could not say whether he would reapply for the many government and private positions he resigned from in order to pursue a political career.

Meanwhile National Development Party (NDP) candidate Dr. Andre Rollins – whose performance at the polls rivaled the performance of the other third parties – pointed out that while the PLP and FNM may have been successful at the polls, there was a poor voter turnout.

That is something Dr. Rollins said shows how fed-up the people of Elizabeth and around the country really are with both parties’ performance.

"I think that the poor voter turnout is evidence that many Bahamians are displeased with what is in fact the state of the nation. I think that many persons stayed home despite the excitement that we feel was being generated on a national level," he said.

"By virtue of the poor voter turnout, I believe it implies that persons were not sufficiently motivated or stimulated enough by either of the mainstream political parties."

Dr. Rollins said a look at the votes garnered by the third parties would reveal that all three of the parties made an impact on this election.

February 17th, 2010