General elections were held in the Bahamas on 2 May 2002 for all 40 seats in the House of Assembly.
Members of the House of Assembly are elected from single-member constituencies using first-past-the-post voting. The majority party then selects the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the Governor-General.
A total of six parties contested the election. The election was however mainly a contest between the two major parties: the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the opposition Free National Movement (FNM).
There were 133 candidates in the election. The governing Free National Movement (FNM) presented 40 candidates, while the opposition Progressive Liberal Party of the Bahamas (PLP) put forward 37.
Background & Campaign
The campaign was marked by slurs relating to drug money and corruption. In the final days before the voting, the FNM revived the scandal over drug money that ten years before had forced the PLP from power. There were insinuations that the PLP had accepted contributions from a tainted bank and a suspected drug lord. On the other hand, the FNM candidate, Mr Turnquest, was accused of corruption with claims that he had awarded contracts for air-conditioning facilities at inflated prices to party supporters.
The Progressive Liberal Party won the elections with 51.8% of the vote (29 of 40 seats),as compared with 40.1% (7) for the Free National Movement and 4.9% (4) for independents. A number of cabinet ministers of the outgoing government lost their seats, including the leader of the FNM, Tommy Turnquest.
Perry Christie was sworn in as Prime Minister on 3 May 2002. On 23 May 2002, Mr Oswald Ingraham was elected Speaker of the House Assembly and Ms. Sharon Wilson President of the Senate.
Voter turnout was 90.18%.