NASSAU, Bahamas – Leader of the Free National Movement (FNM), Dr. Hubert Minnis will be sworn in as Prime Minister of The Bahamas in a ceremony scheduled for Thursday at 5:00 p.m. (local time), following Wednesday’s landslide victory.
The FNM defeated Perry Christie’s Progressive Liberal Party in a 34-5 parliamentary split, according to local media.
“My fellow Bahamians, the people have spoken,” Minnis, a physician, said in a victory rally before thousands of supporters.
“We have been given a mandate for change.”
Minnis was campaigning on a platform for change, seeking to impose term limits on the prime minister and promote “Bahamian ownership in the economy,” according to his website.
Christie conceded defeat and made a congratulatory telephone call to Minnis, wishing him success.
“I understand as perhaps few others, the challenges that await Dr Minnis and I wish him only success on behalf of our nation. He has my full support for a smooth transition,” he said.
Allegations of corruption and unemployment dominated the election.
Christie, finishing his second non-consecutive term as prime minister, was criticised for defiantly boasting that “not even God” could stop him, in a video posted by Tribune 242.
According to local media, the extensive delay to the opening of the $4.2bn Chinese-funded Baha Mar mega-resort along with rising unemployment and sluggish economic performance were some of the major factors that provided momentum to Minnis’ platform for transparency.
More than 180,000 people were registered to cast their ballots for the 39 seats in the House of Assembly.
The election was closely monitored by international observers the Caribbean Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States and the United States.