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Davis sworn in as Prime Minister of Bahamas


Davis sworn in as Prime Minister of Bahamas
Philip Davis was sworn in on Friday, becoming the fifth prime minister of The Bahamas - Internet image

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NASSAU – Chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), Fred Mitchell said he believed the new government of Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis will be in place “certainly not beyond Saturday”.

Davis, 70, an attorney, was sworn into office during a private ceremony at the office of the Governor General on Friday and media reports said that a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony of the new government will take place on Saturday at 10 a.m. (local time).

Davis led the PLP to a convincing victory, winning 32 of the 39 seats in Thursday’s general election, reversing the 35-4 drubbing the party suffered at the hands of the Free National Movement (FNM) four years ago.

Mitchell told reporters earlier that Davis would arrive in the capital from Cat Island, where he “won his seat resoundingly”.

Mitchell said he was in touch with the Commissioner of Police before the general election and with Government House “about the arrangements for an orderly transition from the existing government to the new government”.

“In our system, as you know…as soon as the election results are finalised by the public officials, in this case the Parliamentary Commissioner, a letter is written to the Governor General to advise him of the winner and the Governor General then writes a letter to invite the Prime Minister-designate to form a government,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell added he expected that was done overnight and “it is my hope that as soon as possible the government will be put in place and certainly not beyond Saturday”.

“There is to be no break and we understand in this climate there is to be no honeymoon,” Mitchell said. “We understand that the first measure the government takes will tell the Bahamian public how serious we are about the business of governing and the business of nation building.”

Davis sold himself during the campaign as a formidable leader and labelled outgoing prime minister Dr Hubert Minnis as “out of his depth”.

He now faces formidable challenges in office because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and its continuing health and economic impact.

The country is still rebuilding from the battering it took two years ago from Hurricane Dorian, which killed at least 74 people and left many others missing and was one of the strongest storms on record in the Caribbean.

In addition, the Ministry of Finance said the national debt stood at U.S. $10.356 billion at the end of June this year, forecasting a U.S. $951 million fiscal deficit for 2021-2022.