Bahamas Begins 2012 Election


Above: Bay Street in Nassau (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Bahamas begins its 2012 election Monday, as voters head to the polls to decide the fates of the ruling Free National Movement, opposition Progressive Liberal Party and upstart Democratic National Alliance.

While a number of Bahamians voted in the country’s Advance Poll last Tuesday (a vote which was, for the first time, expanded beyond uniformed officers and poll workers), it’s Monday’s vote that will ultimately decide the identity of the country’s new government.

The Free National Movement, led by current Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, is campaigning on a number of new infrastructure initiatives, from a massive road works project to a new international departures terminal at Nassau’s airport, part of its “We Deliver” campaign slogan.

Killarney MP Candidate and Health Minister Dr Hubert Minnis told Caribbean Journal that the FNM’s investments came to bring the Bahamas into the first world and the future.

The PLP, on the other hand, led by former Prime Minister Perry Christie, alleges that these investments have come at the cost of Bahamians — hence its slogan of Investing in Bahamians.

The DNA, led by former FNM Member of Parliament Branville McCartney, says crime is the biggest issue in the country, as McCartney told CJ in an interview last week. (The PLP did not respond to requests for interviews.)

Last week, as CJ reported, electoral observers from the Organization of American States and CARICOM arrived in Nassau to observe both the process leading up the vote and the election itself.

It is the first time the Bahamas has invited observers into the country.

They were invited by Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes.