General elections were held in the Bahamas on 10 May 2017 for all seats in the House of Assembly. The number of seats in the House of Assembly has increased from 38 to 39 following the decision of the Boundaries Commission in December 2016.
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. There were 140 candidates in the election.
Background & Campaign
During the election campaigning, the FNM campaigned on a platform for change, promising to promote "Bahamian ownership in the economy". The PLP's campaign was reportedly overshadowed by corruption scandals and the delayed opening of a $4.2bn mega-resort called Baha Mar, owned by a foreign company (see note 2). The agreement signed between the PLP Government and the buyer of the Baha Mar in April stipulates further financial contribution of the Government, write off of debt as well as the issuing of work permits for foreign workers.
The Free National Movement (FNM), led by Mr. Hubert Minnis, ousted Prime Minister Perry Christie's Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) winning 35 seats to 4 in the 39-member House of Assembly (see note 1). The outgoing Prime Minister himself lost the seat he had held since 1977. On 11 May, Mr. Minnis was sworn in as new Prime Minister by Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling.
Voter turnout was 88.36%.