Since the Special Senate Select Committee began its public inquiry into the internal operations at the Immigration Department the validity of the last general elections has come into question. The former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan spoke of incomplete files being ignored and the issuance of nationality to foreigners being done despite the requirements being lacking. Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke on the elections aspect of it stating that there could be no question that the victory was a legitimate one.
“That is absolute nonsense. Listen before every election, you can check the historical records and you can check the anecdotal evidence you would have had in your archives footage of the crowds that line up for nationalization before an election because indeed people want to get their citizenship so that they can vote and that is all that happened on this occasion. Now admittedly among the hundreds perhaps thousands that did get nationalization before the last election there would have been a few cases as it now turned out of people whose papers were not in fact in order so my best guess you might find thirty or so of those cases. You are without a doubt not talking about any significant numbers such as would have or could have made any difference to the election results and there is no evidence at all to say whether all those that got citizenship before the election in fact did go and register in time to vote, that sort of thing would have to be checked out and I welcome the media engaging in that exercise because I am absolutely certain that you cannot find any large numbers of persons having obtained citizenship fraudulently or improperly thereafter voting in the election in such droves as anybody could claim affected.”
Meighan had also brought up the issue of voter fraud and nationality fraud while the Attorney General spoke of over two thousand passports in question.
“Talking about the 2000 where there was not the biometric system in place nobody is saying that there were 2,000 passports that were issued fraudulently, I think the media ran off with that kind of characterization from the time of lack of biometrics came up. We had a press conference at the Biltmore where the new director and the experts showed you that you cannot equate the lack of biometrics with fraud that is the way it used to be from time in memorial before we had biometrics so please let us dispel that notion. There is nothing at all that can support any claim that 2000 persons were wrongly given nationality.”
Prime Minister says he would welcome any probe into the number of votes that may have been cast by persons who did not meet the requirements for nationality.
“We’ve already told you, it doesn’t make any sense at all to say that the lack of the biometric screening meant QED that the passports so given were fraudulent, that is nonsense and you can’t prove a negative so I’m very sorry but please it is as I said earlier let the senate inquiry, let any other official I am happy to commission that sort of an exercise make the kind of investigation into how many people were actually given, illegally or irregularly or improperly nationality certificates who then registered and voted, find that out and then we can start talking again because I am telling you that you will discover you are not talking about any significant numbers. Ms.Ruth Meighan could tell you about passports that may have been issued on the basis of fraudulent nationality, she could never tell you that how many of the persons who got such passports later on registered, she is not at Elections and Boundaries and she has not done that sort of an exercise and she is not even pretending to have done that sort of an exercise. Similarly for the Auditor General nobody tried to follow through and I am saying that we are perfectly happy for that exercise to be done now because you cannot seek now to try to delegitimize the resounding victory of the United Democratic Party at the polls.”
The last general election was held on November 4, 2015. The United Democratic Party garnered three thousand eight hundred and eighty six votes more than the People’s United Party countrywide.