NASSAU, Bahamas, April 30, 2007 – Bahamas politicians spent a hectic weekend rallying for last minute support as voters gear up to go to the poll on Wednesday, May 2.
Two major parties are hoping to lead the country for the next five years. The incumbent Progressive Liberal Party, led by Prime Minister Perry Christie, is seeking a return to office.
Christie Friday night predicted victory this Wednesday at a rally in Eleuthera, proclaiming, “Forward ever, Backward never.” And he bashed the main opposition, stating, “The past is too full of painful memories of FNM neglect. You can never go back to that!”
But the Free National Movement, led by former PM and main opposition leader, Hubert Ingraham, has bashed the ruling party for a chaotic administration, widespread abuse of trust and secret deals.
“This election will be decided on whom the Bahamian people trust to protect their natural resources, guard their heritage and secure their future,” states the FNM. “This election is about no one person; it is about the common good of all Bahamians.”
Prime Minister Christie dissolved parliament on April 4 and called for new elections. The new parliament is set to convene on May 23, 2007.
Thousands of police, defence force and parliamentary officers cast their ballots last Thursday ahead of Wednesday’s election.
The current administration has been forced to battle the scandal of Anna Nicole Smith with one of Perry’s key ministers, Minister of Immigration, Shawn Gibson, forced to quit his post after a local newspaper published a photo of him on a bed with the late Play Boy Playmate who had secured residency in the Bahamas quickly despite the fact that reports later indicated she did not own property worth US$500,000 there. The property she had apparently used to apply for residency was actually owned by a man she had formerly dated and who had loaned her the house temporarily. G. Ben Thompson, a Myrtle Beach, S.C., developer has said he had bought the house as a favor to Smith who was supposed to sign a mortgage to buy the house from him but then refused to do so.
Smith passed away in February in Florida but the drama over the paternity of her child and now custody of the tiny tot has kept the spotlight on the island. Smith along with her son Daniel, are both laid to rest here. (Copyright Hardbeatnews.com)