Bahamian general election, 2017

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Bahamian general election, 2017
The Bahamas
← 2012 10 May 2017 (2017-05-10) 2022 →

All 39 seats of the Bahamian House of Assembly
20 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Hubert Minnis 2016.jpg Perry Christie 2013 (cropped).jpg
Leader Hubert Minnis Perry Christie
Party FNM PLP
Leader's seat Killarney Centerville
(defeated)
Last election 9 seats 29 seats
Seats won 35 4
Seat change Increase 26 Decrease 25

Prime Minister before election

Perry Christie
PLP

Elected Prime Minister

Hubert Minnis
FNM

General elections were held in the Bahamas on 10 May 2017.[1] The elected members of the House of Assembly will elect the Prime Minister.

The result was a victory for the opposition Free National Movement led by Hubert Minnis, which defeated the ruling Progressive Liberal Party led by Prime Minister Perry Christie.

Background[edit]

The Free National Movement (FNM) defeated the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) in the 2007 general elections amid a scandal involving the residency status of model and reality television star Anna Nicole Smith and allegations that the PLP's immigration minister had fast-tracked her application to live in the islands.[2]

The composition of the House of Assembly changed during the 2012–2017 term. Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham resigned as the leader of the FNM[3] following the party's loss in the 2012 polls and also resigned his parliamentary seat, forcing a by-election in the North Abaco constituency. This resulted in the PLP winning the seat and increasing their total to 30. Subsequently, the PLP lost three seats; Greg Moss left the party to form the United Democratic Party in 2015, whilst Andre Rollins and Renward Wells defected to the FNM, bringing the PLP's total down to 27 seats.[4]

Electoral system[edit]

Members of the House of Assembly are elected from single-member constituencies using first-past-the-post voting.[5] In the 2017 general elections, there were 39 seats up for grabs in the House of Assembly. This was an increase of one seat from the 38 seat total in the previous parliamentary term, which began after the 2012 polls.[6] The majority party then selects the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the Governor-General.[7]

Parties and leaders[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Controversy arose quickly in the 2017 election campaign when Prime Minister Christie made the comment "Listen, its goin' so good now, God can't stop me now" at his opening rally on the island of Exuma,[8][9] which caused a furious backlash.

The opposition parties decried allegations of rampant corruption in the PLP government,[10][11][12] while it went after allegations of the same thing in the previous government, run by the FNM.[13][14]

Many lamented the descent of the campaign into "gutter politics."[15][16][17]

Infighting in the FNM also caused some controversy. The leader of the FNM, Hubert Minnis, was replaced as the leader of the Official Opposition in the nation's House of Assembly by Loretta Butler-Turner. Butler-Turner served, at one time, as the deputy leader of the FNM party, whilst Minnis served as party leader. Feuding within the FNM led to a "coup" in late 2016 among FNM parliamentarians in the House of Assembly. As a result, Minnis was removed as the leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Assembly, while remaining as the leader of the FNM party. As the general elections loomed, the FNM revoked Butler-Turner's nomination as the FNM's candidate for the Long Island constituency. Butler-Turner then opted to run as an independent candidate for the Long Island constituency, while remaining as the leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Assembly until its dissolution in April 2017.[18][19][20]

Results[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Free National Movement 91,409 56.99 35 +26
Progressive Liberal Party 59,253 36.94 4 –25
Democratic National Alliance 7,577 4.72 0 0
Independents 1,339 0.83 0 -1
Bahamas Constitution Party 315 0.20 0 0
Bahamas National Coalition Party 314 0.20 0 New
The People's Movement 200 0.12 0 New
Invalid/blank votes
Total 160,407 100 39 +1
Registered voters/turnout 181,543 88.36
Sources: PRD, PRD

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bahamas Election Set for May 10th The Bahamas Weekly, 11 April 2017
  2. ^ "WikiLeaks: Anna Nicole Smith took the Bahamas by storm". The Daily Telegraph. 22 December 2010. 
  3. ^ Rolle, Krystel (8 May 2012). "Ingraham resigns". thenassauguardian.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "Wells And Rollins Join The Fnm". Tribune 242. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Bahamas (House of Assembly), Electoral system". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 5 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "39 seats in next House". Bahamas Local. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  7. ^ "Eight Things You Should Know About The Bahamas Election Today". News American Now. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  8. ^ Dorsett, Sancheska (24 April 2017). "PM jokes God can't stop him on election trail". tribune242.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  9. ^ Virgil, Khrisna (25 April 2017). "PM explains why he said God can't stop me now". tribune242.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  10. ^ "Questions Surround Money Paid into US Bank Account of Bahamas Minister". caribbean3060.com. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  11. ^ Virgil, Khrisna (26 April 2017). "PM says claim of son's pay is 'crazy'". tribune242.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  12. ^ Gibson, Adrian (1 September 2016). "A Young Man's View: Wherever You Look With Baha Mar, Conflict Of Interest Abounds". tribune242.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  13. ^ Turnquest, Ava (25 April 2017). "Symonette doubts some disclosures' accuracy". tribune242.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  14. ^ "FNM Candidate Admitted to Fraud in Customs Declaration Scandal…Watch dem fall one by one!!!". bahamaspress.com. 23 April 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  15. ^ Scavella, Nico (25 April 2017). "Bishop attacks 'Gutter Politics'". tribune242.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  16. ^ "Is it da people’s time to commit armed ROBBERY? FNM candidate’s general caught in high-speed chase with police following amoured truck robbery!". bahamaspress.com. 26 April 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  17. ^ "FNMs spread FAKE NEWS on Baha Mar!". bahamaspress.com. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  18. ^ Virgil, Khrisna (21 April 2017). "Butler-Turner out of FNM as she runs as Independent". tribune242.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  19. ^ Turnquest, Ava (20 December 2016). "Door 'slammed shut' on FNM nomination for Butler-Turner". tribune242.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  20. ^ "Hubert Minnis going after Bahamas PM's job". caribbean360.com. 18 April 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017.