|The Bahamas: Elections set for May 7|
|Thursday, 12 April 2012 13:10|
Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Hubert Ingraham, has confirmed that the government will hold general elections on May 7.
"As we begin this process, I want to ask all of our citizens to commit themselves to an election that is truly fitting of this great democracy of ours," urged Prime Minister Ingraham.
In his address, Ingraham praised the public for its increased participation in voting registration. According to the prime minister, over 22,000 more Bahamians registered to vote since the 2007 general elections.
His address also recognized the growing pains of his government in the past five years, acknowledging the country's struggle with the growing rate of crime, as well as its recovery from the global economic crisis.
Ingraham will lead his ruling party, the Free National Movement (FNM) against opposition of former Prime Minister Perry Christie's Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). The FNM enjoyed a clear victory over the PLP in the last general elections, winning 23 district seats over the PLP's 18 seats. The PLP, since dominating Bahamian politics in the 1970s and 1980s, has not held the seat of government since 1992.
Both parties will campaign for seats in the 38 districts, and the newly formed parliament will convene on May 23. In his public address however, Ingraham did not announced the date for Nomination Day, which would launch the official start of the general elections campaign.
The 2012 elections will also be the first time representatives from the Organization of American States (OAS) and CARICOM are invited to observe the country's electoral process.