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The Abaco Chamber of Commerce held a “Meet Your Candidate” event for both the North Abaco and Central and South Abaco constituencies where candidates answered a series of questions that were collected from residents.
The events were held on April 11 in Marsh Harbour and April 12 in Treasure Cay with a large audience attending both.
The Central and South Abaco meeting was attended by Churton Toote of the Bahamas Constitution Party (BCP), Eva Bain of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and James Albury of the Free National Movement (FNM). Ruth Flowers of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) did not attend due to another engagement; she sent apologies for her absence.
In North Abaco the meeting was attended by independent candidate Cay Mills, Kathleen Knowles of the BCP, Renardo Curry of the PLP and Claire Basden of the DNA. FNM candidate Darren Henfield did not attend the meeting.
The moderators of the meetings kept the tempo and flow of the meeting while the audience was made aware that there would be no clapping or cheering for any candidate during the session. Each candidate was given two minutes per answer as well as the opportunity for an opening and closing statement.
Questions centered on finance reform and accountability, education, sports and youth, immigration, local government, agriculture and business entrepreneurship, gun licenses and bonefishing permits and questions on balance of environmental concerns with development.
The candidates were cordial and generally answered questions succinctly, with some candidates at times expressing the same or similar views on certain topics.
Audiences appeared to be made up largely of supporters for the major parties, but there was a good mixture of people attending. The Abaco Chamber also broadcast both two hour long events live on their Facebook page garnering a greater audience island-wide.
The moderators from the Abaco Chamber of Commerce were Ruth Saunders and Brenda Jenoure and the time keeper was Chamber President Vado Bootle.
Mr. Bootle thanked the candidates and said that he hopes, no matter which candidate is successful, there will be an open door policy with the Chamber as they seek to make Abaco the best place in The Bahamas.
The full video of each debate is available below or on the Abaco Chamber of Commerce Facebook page for those who missed it.
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