Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie (FILE)
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NASSAU, Bahamas – Bahamians go to the polls on May 10 to elect a new government in a general election that Prime Minister Perry Christie said he is confident would be “free, fair and peaceful”.
In a broadcast soon after Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade read proclamations from Governor General Marguerite Pindling, dissolving Parliament, Prime Minister Christie said voters will now have the opportunity of deciding on which political party will conduct the affairs of the country for the next five years.
The new Parliament will be convened on May 24.
“It is now left to you, the citizenry of our beloved nation to decide who will fill those seats in the next House of assembly,” said Christie, who led the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) to victory in the 2012 general election defeating the then ruling Free National Movement (FNM) for control of the 41 seat Parliament.
The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) also contested the poll, but failed to win a seat.
Christie, who did not give a date for Nomination Day in his broadcast, said that in voting, the population will “make that momentous decision in what I am confident will be free and fair elections following a spirited but peaceful campaign”.
“Let us contest the forthcoming elections with all the vigour at our command. Let us do so however, with respect for the human dignity of our opponents and with respect for the traditions that we all hold dear. We are one of the oldest democracies in the hemisphere. Our Parliament traces its history back hundreds of years.
“Let us by our conduct in the general election campaign continue to prove ourselves worthy of the great democratic traditions of free, fair and peaceful elections that have made our country the marvel of nations around the world. I have confidence that we shall,” he added.
On Monday, the Parliamentary Registration Department extended by a few hours, the period for registration for the election.
In the 2012 poll, 172 130 people were eligible to vote. (CMC)