PLP leader Perry Christie (R) and his deputy Philip ‘Brave’ Davis celebrate their party’s election victory on Monday night. Photo: Donald Knowles
By Erica Wells
Nassau Guardian Managing Editor
NASSAU, Bahamas — Perry Christie led his Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) to a landslide victory in Monday’s general election in The Bahamas, wiping out Hubert Ingraham and the Free National Movement (FNM) in one of the biggest wins in Bahamian political history.
The PLP appears to have won 29 of the 38 seats in Parliament — 20 in New Providence, three in Grand Bahama and six in the Family Islands, according to unofficial results.
It appears as if the FNM has managed to hang on to only three seats in New Providence, two in Grand Bahama and four in Family Islands.
“I would like to extend with the deepest humility my thanks to the Bahamian people for reposing their confidence in me and my party and for doing so in such a powerful and unequivocal voice. Now that the general elections are over, the hard work must now begin,” Christie told thousands of jubilant supporters who gathered late in the evening to celebrate the PLP’s victory. “I pledge to you that I will give my very best and my colleagues who will join me in the new government will do the same. Great challenges lie ahead, but with God’s grace and the support of the Bahamian people, we will overcome the challenges and restore peace and prosperity to our beloved land.”
Outgoing Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham conceded defeat shortly before 10 p.m. at the FNM’s headquarters. He also announced that he would not lead the party in opposition and would resign his seat in parliament, ending a more than 30-year career in frontline politics. He led the FNM to victory in 2007 and previously served as prime minister from 1992-2002.
“I shall return to private life from whence I came,” Ingraham told solemn supporters.
He said:”The Progressive Liberal Party has won the election. I want to publicly congratulate (Christie’s) party.”
It was a short and bitterly contested campaign that led many political pundits to predict in the lead up to the election that the race was too close to call. That did not turn out to be the case.
The outcome of this general election represents a massive miscalculation by the FNM of its support among the electorate.