Wednesday, December 7, 2022


Komolafe Resigns as Green Party Leader Over Election Failure and Financial Strain

DNA Leader Arinthia Komolafe announced her resignation from the Democratic National Alliance, after the party’s third unsuccessful attempt at the electoral poll.

Komolafe made an official announcement at the party’s headquarters on Friday, citing various reasons, including a financial strain on her personal resources.

Komolafe acknowledged the difficulty of third parties to secure funding for campaigns, while admitting that she spent nearly six figures to fund the DNA’s recent political campaign.

“Third party politics in the Bahamas is brutal and extremely difficult. It involves taking on established guards of the PLP and the FNM,” she said.

Komolafe lamented the current model of operation within the party stating it is unsustainable since the party depends on volunteers. Komolafe said during her tenure, she served as the financier of operations, writer of press releases and charged the administrative work of the party.

She said the candidates in the recent election personally funded their campaigns.

The big picture

Arinthia Komolafe succeeded the party’s founder Branville McCartney, to become leader of the party in 2017.

In the run up to the election, the party faced internal turmoil and fighting made public.

In the 2021 early election, the party suffered its worst support, garnering only 1,742 votes in 22 seats; in 2017, the DNA received 7,537 votes in its run for 39 constituencies; and in 2012, the DNA got more than 13,000 votes in 13 constituencies.

Why it matters

A third party has never won a general election nor seats in the House of Assembly. Leaders of third parties wound up joining the established parties after being wooed by positions and support.

Komolafe was praised as the first woman leader of a political party. However, she seemed to have never electrified her base.

What’s next?

Komolafe said she will not leave front line politics. But at the moment, she will focus on personal endeavors.

The party’s deputy leader Steven Nesbitt becomes interim leader.


Minnis Sworn in as Opposition Leader

Former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis was officially sworn in on Friday as Leader of the Opposition.

When Parliament meets, Minnis will be joined by other opposition members including St. Anne’s MP Adrian White, Long Island MP Adrian Gibson, East Grand Bahama MP Kwasi Thompson and Marco City MP Michael Pintard, Central Grand Bahama MP Iram Lewis, and St Barnabas MP Shanendon Cartwright.

Following swearing-in ceremony, Minnis said he hopes the government continue with plans to recruit young Bahamians for further education abroad for leadership positions in government entities. Minnis said he will hold the government accountable.

The big picture

Following last week’s General Election, the Minnis led adminstration lost, only winning 7 out of the 39 seats, after battling the fallouts of Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Progressive Liberal Party led by former opposition leader, Philip Davis won the 32 seats.

Why it matters

Since the defeat of the Free National Movement, council members met to determine the future leadership of the party. After a vote, the party decided to keep Minnis as leader until November when a convention is held. A new leader will be picked to lead the party forward. Minnis said he will not contest the leadership post.


Minnis Stays Until…November

Former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis will lead the official opposition when Parliament meets again, following a vote to consider a new leader for the Free National Movement after a crushing defeat at the electoral poll.

Party Chairman Carl Culmer said Minnis will stay on as leader until November when the party holds a convention. Minnis will not contest the leadership post at the convention.

The big picture

Nearly 300 members of the council met on Wednesday evening to decide whether or not Minnis will stay on as leader when the House of Assembly meets.

This meeting follows a 17-12 vote by the executive board for Minnis to remain leader of the party until November.

Minnis won his Killarney seat, but his party lost, only retaining 7 seats.

Minnis’ fate has become the topic of discussion since the party’s loss. In 2012, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham resigned his position as FNM leader and as parliamentarian after his party lost the election.

Who are the possible contenders?

Former Cabinet Minister and MP for Marco City Michael Pintard, Former Minister of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson and MP for St Barnabas Shandendon Cartwright all of whom have won their seats, are the favourites to succeed Minnis.

ZNS Hits Back at International Election Observation Group over PLP Claims of Unfair Election Coverage

The board of directors at the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas is hitting back at the International Election Observation Group and is denying allegations of unbalanced coverage of the Progressive Liberal Party.

The board of directors said in a statement that it “categorically denies and refutes the allegation” and “finds it to be disturbing and unacceptable” that the OAS Election Observation Mission did not first reach out to the Corporation before “utter[ing] such disparaging and damaging allegations.”

The big picture

Former Prime Minister of Jamaica Bruce Golding led the group to the Bahamas to observe the General Election. He claimed that ZNS refused to take political advertisements from the PLP, even though it offered to pay off its debt, a claim made by the PLP.

Golding admitted that his group was not able to determine the accuracy of the allegations.

What ZNS said happened

ZNS said it decided several months before the General Election that it would not air any new advertisements for the FNM or the PLP until payments were made to settle outstanding debts since the 2017 campaign season.

The FNM paid off its debt, while the PLP made only one small payment towards it, reducing its debt of over $100,000.00.

When the election was called, ZNS said the PLP offered to make a payment of $75,000 over a period of time, which would have left almost the same amount owing.

ZNS said it told the PLP that it would have to pay off its debt in full since the FNM had done so as a pre-condition to new advertisements being accepted.

The PLP agreed and the Corporation accepted the offer with the balance of approximately $37,000.00 being divided by the number of slots it wished to take, and the resulting amount to be paid at the same time as payment for each advertisement – so that, on payment of the last slot, the entire debt would end up being repaid, the corporation said.

However, the PLP soon pulled out of the deal and said it would not be advertising with ZNS during the remaining 2021 campaign season.

5 Ways to Cope if Your Party Lost: It’s Just Politics

The loss of candidates in the General Election can cause supporters to unpack a slew of emotions.

You’ve campaigned, perhaps volunteered and/or voted with surety of a win at the polls. But your candidate and party lost.

Here’s how to cope:

  1. Take a break from social media

Memes, photos and posts on social media can bait you into unhealthy discussions about the election. Some people may be boastful of their candidates and post their opinions in an untactful manner while degrading political candidates. But stay away from the discussions and have meaningful and healthy conversations with people you know either face-to-face or via telephone.

2. Change the narrative and focus on the good

Your candidate may not have won but he or she ran an ‘honest and clean’ campaign. Tailor the standards of victory and focus on the strengths of the party and its candidates. They are ‘winners’ nonetheless.

3. Affiliate with people of like mind

Form a circle of people whom you respect, understand and listen to. Have a small gathering to talk about the election and keep your feelings within the circle. These friends will make you feel better after the loss.

4. Find good qualities in the winning party and candidates

Psychologists suggest writing down 3 to 5 things that are interesting about the winning party and its candidates. Though it may be difficult, it will help you to gain perspective on why others may have voted the way they did.

5. Accept the outcome

This is something you cannot change. You may never understand why other voters did not see your perspective or why you voted for another party or candidate. But accept that voters have a choice to choose whom they wish. There are many things you can not change, the election is one of them.

Davis Sworn in as 5th Prime Minister: I Will Lift the Veil of Secrecy

Philip Edward Davis became the 5th Bahamian prime minister on Saturday following a general election where the Progressive Liberal Party won the majority of seats in the House of Assembly.

The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Bahamar Resort, under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic where the 70-year-old was granted his instruments of appointment, in front of a crowd.

He enters government exactly two days after the country’s early election.

Prime Minister Philip Davis at his Swearing-In Ceremony

Davis was sworn in by Governor General C.A Smith during which he promised to be transparent with all government agendas.

“We’re going to listen. We’re going to consult. We’re going to bring people together. This is the best way to make progress as a nation. No leader and no government should be isolated from the people.

“I also commit to lifting the veil of secrecy from that which has gone before us so that all of the arrangements under which we have to live are transparent and those who offered them are accountable.”

Davis continued, “We will govern in the interest of all Bahamians, not just the privileged few. We will act in ways that will build trust between the government and the Bahamian people.

“We will uphold the constitution and the rule of law and ensure everyone is treated fairly so that there is not one rule for one set of people, and another rule for another set of people.

“There is much work to be done,  but I know that if we work together, we can succeed and build a kind of prosperous, independent Bahamas that our founding fathers dreamt for us,” he said.

Davis took the oath of office on Friday and immediately made changes to the Emergency order, extending curfew to the hours of 11:59 pm to 5 am.

Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper will be sworn in at 2 pm.

Ingraham’s Endorsement Did Little to Save Sands

FNM Elizabeth MP Duane Sands did not survive at the voting polls. Instead, PLP Jobeth Coleby-Davis beat him to become the new parliamentarian for the Elizabeth constituency.

Sands expected a win at the polls. He seemed to have a good repertoire with his constituents and touted his list of accomplishments in the area.

Poll numbers showed that he and Coleby-Davis were running a close race but it was not enough for Sands to win.

Why it matters

Sands was endorsed by former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham in the weeks leading up to the election. Ingraham showed up in the Elizabeth constituency to publicly express support for Sands, whom he called “a great man,” even expressing hope that Sands would become prime minister.

Ingraham did not endorse Minnis during this election cycle, as he had done in 2017.

Sands’ loss a the polls means he would not have the opportunity to run against Minnis for party leader when the FNM holds convention.

The big picture

In 2017, Sands won the Elizabeth constituency, doubling the votes to beat the PLP candidate.

Sands was a former minister of health but resigned last year amid controversy over donated 2,500 COVID-19 test swabs, when the donors were allowed to disembark on New Providence and quarantine at home while the country’s borders were closed.

Ingraham was hoping that Sands would have been re-elected to the House and eventually become prime minister, which he likened to his experience.

Davis Beats Minnis to Capture the House in Early Election

Philip Davis will capture the Parliament and reign as prime minister after victory at the polls over FNM Leader Hubert Minnis.

Davis won by a big margin capturing a majority of the seats in an early election.

A delighted Davis took to social media to express delight. “Thank you Bahamas. Your support means so much to me. It is a new day. God bless the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.”

Minnis has conceded to Davis and offered best wishes to him. He thanked the Bahamians who supported him while congratulating the FNM candidates who won their seats.

Minnis won his seat for Killarney and will lead the Opposition in the House of Assembly.

As of 9:30 pm, Kwasi Thompson, Shanendon Cartwright, Andrian Gibson, Michael Pintard, Iram Lewis and Adrian White of the FNM survived and will be a part of the opposition.

Davis will have to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccination rollout, boost the economy and revive the healthcare system.

Davis was a part of the Christie administration that was voted out in 2017, which was heavily hit with scandals.

Minnis’ reign as prime minister was criticized for its handling of the Oban deal, Dorian and its aftermath, and the Emergency Orders which caused the closure of businesses.

Amidst the pandemic, Davis staged virtual rallies preaching that his government will usher in transparency, equality and prosperity.

FNM Promises to Introduce Legislation to Replace Emergency Order in ‘Bold’ Manifesto

The Free National Movement promises to replace the Emergency Order if the party is re-elected in the next General Election.

Among other promises in its 81-page plan for the country, the party said it will “pass and bring into effect legislation to replace the Emergency Orders.”

The party released its digital Manifesto on Wednesday which its leader Dr Hubert Minnis called “bold, ambitious and comprehensive.”

“It is a well-thought-out plan with policies to grow the economy to create more Bahamian businesses, to reduce crime to invest in youth and to build up family islands and upgrade critical infrastructure.”

The party says it will also establish a coordinating group in the Ministry of Health to oversee the acquisition of therapies and treatments for people suffering from the long-term effects of COVID-19.

The pandemic has placed a strain on the country’s healthcare system but the party said it will construct a six-story, 96,000 square-foot tower at the Princess Margaret Hospital to increase capacity and enhance the medical service delivery system.

The party says the multi-story medical, surgical, maternal and child health facility will cost $55 million.

The tower will also provide easy access and flow of patients on the in-patient wards that accommodate primary users of the intensive care, neonatal intensive care units and operating theaters.

The FNM says it will complete the expansion and modernization of the Rand Memorial Hospital in Freeport, Grand Bahama by constructing a new four-story tower.

“When you compare our manifesto to what the PLP put out, you will see that what the PLP publish is seriously lacking. In the dead of the night, the PLP released a mere pamphlet they said was their plan.

Minnis said his party will take the Bahamas forward in the 21st century, as it builds on the works of former FNM governments.

“The PLP is bankrupt of ideas and also on so many other levels. Don’t mind the word ‘progressive.’ Don’t mind that word on the PLP’S name. It  is the FNM that is the party of social and economic justice and equality for all of our people.”

You can read more on FNM website.