Caricom observers hail Bahamas polls

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CARICOM Secretary-General Dr Carla Barnett has congratulated the newly elected Prime Minister of The Bahamas Mr Phillip Davis and his Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) on their resounding victory in the General Elections of 16 September 2021.

In a statement the Secretary-General said she looks forward to welcoming the new Prime Minister as he takes his place within the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community. “On behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), I offer my sincere congratulations to you and the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) on your resounding victory in the General Elections held in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on 16 September.

I also congratulate you on your election as the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.” Dr Barnett said. She added: “The overwhelming victory of your Party indicates that the people of The Bahamas have every confidence that your leadership and the policies outlined by the PLP would guide them on a path to progress. I also congratulate the people of The Bahamas for exercising their franchise, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to welcoming you, Prime Minister, as you take your place within the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community. You can be assured, Prime Minister, of the support of the CARICOM Secretariat and the Community during your term of office.”

Meanwhile, a Caricom Observer Mission in a report said that the results of the polls reflect the will of the people. The Mission issued its Preliminary Statement on Friday which said voters were able to cast their ballots without intimidation or fear. Bahamians voted for a change of government, electing the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), headed by Attorney Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis over the incumbent Free National Movement (FNM) of outgoing Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

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The Caricom team monitored the polling activities, which included the opening of the polls, the voting process, the closing of the polls and the preliminary count of ballots. From its observations, the polls were opened in a timely manner in the majority of the polling districts. All polling stations observed were staffed and most had at least two Polling Agents present, representing the two major political parties that contested the general elections. Most polling stations were conveniently located and easily accessible to the voters though, in some instances, it was noted that accessibility presented challenges for the disabled, the elderly and the infirm. The Mission observed that there was sufficient supply of the required voting materials which arrived promptly to facilitate the opening of the polls.

The mission said adequate police security was in place at all locations visited, with officials conducting their duties in a professional and efficient manner. This contributed to the level of calm which accompanied the day’s activities. Generally, the poll workers were focused as they steadily carried out the required procedures, thereby ensuring that all eligible electors who turned out to vote were able to do so. Their efforts to adhere to the Covid-19 protocols and in sanitising the polling stations after each elector had voted are also to be commended.

“The initial assessment of Election Day activities by the CEOM is that the voters were able to cast their ballots without intimidation or fear, and that the results of the 16 September 2021 General Elections reflect the will of the people of The Bahamas. The Mission extends its appreciation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its assistance and congratulates the staff of the Parliamentary Commission; poll workers; the political parties and their candidates; the security forces and the people of The Bahamas on the level of maturity displayed in the peaceful execution of the Election Day activities, especially during the Covid 19 Pandemic.”



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