Bahamas. At the February parliamentary elections, the
ruling Free National Movement (FNM) won a landslide victory.
The party received 57% of the vote and 34 of the 40 seats in
Parliament's second chamber. As a result, the incumbent
Prime Minister Hubert A. Ingraham was sworn in for a second
term in office on March 18.
The victory for FNM was mainly attributed to a successful
economic situation for the country. Furthermore, the
government had introduced a number of very popular measures
such as minimum wages, greater decentralization of
government power and the right of foreign men to work in the
country immediately after they married domestic women.
Countryaah, the parliamentary elections also resulted in the
resignation of Lynden Pindling, leader of the Progressive
Liberal Party (PLP) and former prime minister. Pindling had
been prime minister for 25 years until the PLP election loss
in 1992. He was succeeded as party leader by Perry Christie.
Tourism plays a key role in the country and accounts for
half of the country's employment. Tourist revenues account
for 60% of the country's GDP. 5.8 million tourists visited
the country in 2012. 70% of these with cruise ships.
Violence is rising rapidly in the country as a result of
high unemployment, the country's position as a transit
country for drugs from Latin America and a weak judicial
system. In the first 9 months of 2015, 110 were killed. A
25% increase over the same period the year before.
In June 2016, the population voted no in a referendum on
constitutional amendments that would have led to greater
gender equality in the issue of citizenship. The existing
legislation laid down very different rules for men and women
in terms of how citizenship was inherited for the children.
The May 2017 parliamentary election was a staggering
defeat for the reigning liberal populist PLP, which lost 25
seats and had to settle for 4. The winner became the
conservative populist FNM who went ahead 26 seats and gained
35th FNM President, Hubert Minnis could then take over the
government. The fact that the PLP went so badly in the
election was partly because Prime Minister Perry Christie at
the start of the election campaign said that "even God could
not stop him". It got a blasphemous sound in the religious
land. Partly that the opposition carried out a campaign
against the government party, which it accused of corruption
- without really having any evidence.
While Category 5 Hurricane Irma caused enormous damage
further south in the Caribbean and further west in Florida,
the damage was limited in the Bahamas. On the other hand,
the hurricane was so powerful that it sucked the water away
from the coasts around the islands, so that one day the sea
was exposed the next day.