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Bahamians head to polls in General Election

Election campaign season draws to a close today, as Bahamians head to the polls to choose the country's next government. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Election campaign season draws to a close today, as Bahamians head to the polls to choose the country’s next government.

The ruling Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), which took power in 2012 under the leadership of Prime Minister Perry Christie, is hoping to see off challenges from the two major opposition parties – the Free National Movement (FNM) and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA).

Following weeks of intense campaigning and advance polling, which took place May 3, The Bahamas’ 39 constituencies will today select their parliamentary representatives. FNM leader Hubert Minnis is expected to retain his Killarney seat, while leader of the DNA Branville McCartney will be hoping to take Bamboo Town, currently represented by FNM MP Renward Wells.

In 2012, the PLP ousted the FNM in a landslide, taking 29 of the 38 available seats and ending former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham’s 35-year political career. While his successor, Dr Minnis, has seen several challenges to his leadership, he has managed to unify the party heading into election day and many are predicting a tight race at the polls.

The incumbent Prime Minister will be hoping that the recent opening of the Baha Mar project will give his party some momentum as the economic boost resonates with voters.

The Bahamas’ general election is being overseen by the Commonwealth Observer Group, at the invitation of Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, as well as the Organisation of American States’ Electoral Observation Mission.

Polls are expected to open at 8am, and early results are expected to trickle in shortly after they close at 6pm.

As well as the economic and branding benefits of staging FIFA’s Beach Soccer World Cup - an event televised in more than 180 countries around the world - authorities in The Bahamas are looking to position the island nation as a hub for the game in the Caribbean region.

Thousands have lined up to cast their vote in the country's General Election held today.

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