By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
THE Constituencies Commission is expected to convene today for a final meeting on its recommendations for boundary changes, which, according to well-placed sources, will call for the addition of only one seat in New Providence.
Constituencies Commission Chair and House Speaker Dr Kendal Major confirmed to The Tribune that the report had been completed last week and sent to opposition member K Peter Turnquest for review.
The Constituencies Commission is comprised of Dr Major; Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs, vice-chair; government members, Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis and Jerome Fitzgerald; Official Opposition member East Grand Bahama MP Mr Turnquest; and House clerks Maurice Tynes and David Forbes.
Members are expected to provide feedback at today’s meeting, and subsequently turn it over to Prime Minister Perry Christie.
Dr Major said it was likely that the document would be tabled in the House this week.
The House Speaker did not confirm the contents of the report; however, sources claim that the new seat appears to be the re-emergence of the St Cecilia seat.
That constituency was axed by the Ingraham-led Free National Movement government in 2011, reducing the number of seats from 41 to 38 after the 2012 general election.
The commission used data from the 2010 census that had been extrapolated in a 2016 report prepared by the Department of Statistics, to guide recommendations.
The report, prepared by the Census Section, projected a population increase of 6.9 per cent on New Providence.
Former Progressive Liberal Party Cabinet minister George Smith had called for the creation of additional seats in the Family Islands, specifically splitting the Exuma and Ragged Island constituency into two seats.
Mr Smith, who represented Exuma during the Pindling era, had also asked Mr Christie to select him as the PLP’s candidate for a second Exuma seat.