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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Who Will Be the Country’s Next Prime Minister?

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In a crowded race, more than five candidates are vying for the position of Prime Minister. These candidates want to lead the Bahamas in a post-pandemic era. The economy needs a revival and the country’s health system needs restoration, both of which have suffered since the start of the COVID19 pandemic.

Who is the best leader for the job?

Here are the leaders of political parties, vying to win the hearts of Bahamians.

Dr Hubert Minnis

Minnis is the incumbent running for the position of prime minister, a post he has held since 2017. The 67-year-old is the parliamentarian for the Killarney constituency. He was a gynecologist and obstetrician before becoming a politician. In 2007, Minnis was elected to Parliament and served as Minister of Health and eventually became leader of the party where he faced many internal conflicts.

After his victory at the polls, Minnis’ leadership was challenged following the devastations caused by Hurricane Dorian in 2019 that destroyed Abaco and parts of Grand Bahama, two economic hubs of the Bahamas.

His greatest test has been the COVID-19 pandemic that forced lockdowns and curfews, resulting in a depressed economy and lost jobs. While some have criticized the lockdowns and curfews imposed by the Emergency Order, some have praised Minnis’ handling of the pandemic and his rollout of the vaccines.

Philip Davis

Davis is the leader of the official opposition party, the Progressive Liberal Party. The 70-year-old is a lawyer and serves as the Member of Parliament for Cat Island and San Salvador. Many people have criticized the poor conditions of these islands where Davis has served since 2002, due to its lack of infrastructural developments.

Davis served as Deputy Leader of the PLP in 2012 and became leader of the party after his party’s defeat at the polls in 2017.

Davis has been a strong opponent of the Emergency Order and criticized the lockdowns and curfews imposed by the government. He has been described as the “flip-flopper” who changes his views on government policies to suit his talking points.

Arinthia Komolafe

Komolafe is the leader of the Democratic National Alliance, a position she inherited in 2019 after the resignation of its interim party leader. The 41-year-old became the first woman to lead a political party.

She is a banker and lawyer and was a former member of the Progressive Liberal Party. Komolafe has recently faced conflicts within her party that became public in recent months. Some have questioned her ability to lead a country due to her gender and her marriage to a foreigner.

This year, she was detained by police for an illegal protest held in Parliament Square which some have called ‘gender bias.’

She has received praise for her enlightenment and communication skills.

DNA is the third viable option for voters, but the party has lost its spark. It will be the third time the party goes to the polls after the 2012 and 2017 election results.

In 2012, the party received 13,000 votes and received 7,537 votes in 2017.

Lincoln Bain

Bain is a controversial talk show host turned politician. Bain has sought nomination from two political groups, FNM and DNA, but was not successful. He formed the Coalition of Independents in 2021, a party that accrued independent candidates to run in the upcoming General Election.

Bain initially formed an activist group, Bahamian Evolution which lobbied for Bahamians to benefit from the country’s natural resources, but it has since morphed into a political group.

Bain opposes the COVID19 vaccines and led protests to oppose government policies. His campaign has been mainly social media based as he seeks to expose corruption. He has attracted a large social media following.

Bain promises Bahamians that if he is elected, he will ensure each Bahamian receive $100,000.

It remains to be seen if he can turn followers into voters.

Cassius Stuart

Stuart founded the Bahamas Democratic Movement but he later dissolved the party after joining the FNM in 2011.

The businessman has since left the FNM and restarted his party. Stuart seems to have no momentum but says he has a plan to move the country forward.

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