Security & Strategic Review - October 2021

FNM loses early election gamble in The Bahamas

Hubert Minnis, the just-ousted prime minister of The Bahamas and leader of the defeated Free National Movement (FNM) government since May 2017, called the 16 September general election eight months before it was necessary despite the country still being in the grip of the economic and health crisis caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and despite his own strong support for, and promise to introduce, fixed term parliaments. The electorate took a dim view, and for the fourth time in succession it has removed a government from power after just one term. The last time a government was re-elected was in March 1997 when the FNM gained a second term under then-prime minister Hubert Ingraham (1992-2002, 2007-2012). But the Bahamian electorate wasn’t always so fickle. The now triumphant Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) won six elections on the trot from 1967-1992 (as well as taking The Bahamas to independence in 1973), and the new prime minister, Philip Brave Davis, will be hoping that Minnis’s misjudgement will allow him to re-establish a prolonged period of PLP dominance on the back of a strong post-Covid recovery.

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