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Video: Parliament Dissolved, Race Is On For 2012 General Election

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

THIS year's General Election will be on May 7, Tribune242 can reveal.

Parliament has been dissolved and party insiders told Tribune242 the date the country will go to the polls, with May 7 expected to be officially confirmed by the Prime Minister later today.

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham did not reveal the date at 1pm as was expected, instead issuing a one line statement: "I have advised His Excellency the Governor General to dissolve Parliament."

The date wasn't announced either when the Provost Marshal officially declared Parliament prorogued - which he did at 1.45pm today in Rawson Square.

Mr Ingraham may keep the date under wraps until he addresses the nation tonight.

However, according to several FNM campaign officials, an official email circulating within the party confirms that Election Day will be May 7, a Monday.

Today's move comes after the PM told crowds yesterday, “I will make a public announcement and an address to the nation at 1pm [Tuesday]."

“If you have not registered to vote yet, it might be too late. If you are registered to vote, make sure you check your card. Make sure it is correct and accurate.”

The PM’s comments came while he addressed FNM supporters at the party's “Red Splash Extravaganza” in Treasure Cay, Abaco. He repeated it to crowds in New Providence and Grand Bahama.

Anticipation was heightened last week when the FNM suspended the House of Assembly until May 22 – the day before Parliament would automatically dissolve according to the law.

This meant that Mr Ingraham could set a date as late as August, because according to the constitution, an election must be held within 90 days of the dissolution of Parliament.

However he announced shortly after that he would dissolve Parliament before May 2.

Political pundits expect that Mr Ingraham will announce today that the election will be held in early May, giving political parties roughly a month to campaign.

Elections are always hotly contested, but commentators say this one stands out for a number of reasons including the fall-out from the ongoing recession and controversy over the handling of the New Providence road works.

That controversy, according to Mr Ingraham, will not affect FNM support

He said: “Voters are very happy. The roads are opened. [On] Prince Charles Drive you can drive from one end to the other; now on Market Street from Duke Street to Robinson Road; Baillou Hill South, down as far as Soldier Road and between now and the end of the month you will be able to go straight down to Carmichael Road.”

The 2012 election will be the first in which international observers will monitor the polls, and the first in many years in which a third party is expected to make a tangible impact.

Democratic National Alliance (DNA) officials have chimed in with their concerns on Mr Ingraham’s decision to announce an election date “so late in the game”.

Mark Humes, chairman of the party, said the Prime Minister had held the country “hostage”.

“Everybody is ready for him to announce the date, it’s just sad that we at this stage in our maturity, as a nation, still don’t have fixed dates for elections. Here we are, five years held hostage by one man.”

It is the DNA’s hope, Mr Humes said, that his party gets to make a change so that everybody knows the date, not just one man, as Mr Ingraham has done “the past five months”.

Mr Ingraham said the DNA’s view went against the Bahamas’ system of government.

“Elections are held once every five years and will not go one day beyond that. People who wish to have a system where you cannot call an election earlier than five years have views that are inconsistent with our system of government,” said Mr Ingraham.

Senior Progressive Liberal Party officials could not be reached for comment.

Comments

Rontom 5 years ago

Prediction: General Election 2012

NO Party will see 19 or 20 seats. There are only two possible scenarios: Scenario 1 FNM 28 PLP 7 DNA 3 Scenario 2 FNM 18 PLP 13 DNA 7 We are looking at two outcomes--the ending of careers for some in the PLP leadership will happen in either scenario and the second outcome is the possibility of defection within the DNA membership to FNM party to form the government. I believe Scenario 1 is most likely to happen.

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AmirThompson 5 years ago

To say that there are only two scenarios with both ending in an FNM victory is outrageous and myopic at the same time. Are you suggesting that the people of this country forgot who got us in the mess we are in now, and no, i'm not talking about nothing from the 1980s? Are you suggesting that the mere fact that they cannot maintain law and order in this country will be seen as minor and they will be rewarded with a majority in the HOA again, even though they have the same group of incompetent blow hards in place? I'm sorry but you are insulting the intelligence of many right thinking Bahamians who gave them a shot only to regret it. We will NOT be making that mistake again. Add this scenario to your platter. FNM12, PLP 24, DNA 1, Independent 1

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Rontom 5 years ago

I agree, both scenario suggest a bias towards the FNM, however, the storyline/theme has been very skillfully shaped by the FNM (even to the point where you make distinctions in your argument referencing the 80s!) It is less about "the mess" and more about LEADERSHIP. It comes to this: Are there fewer persons who support Hubert Ingraham compared with those who will support the PLP among the swing voters. I would argue that there are persons in that category who supported the FNM in the past and are now questioning their future endorsement of the party, but there is SUBSTANTIALLY more persons who will not support the PLP and its leadership or lack thereof.

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Rontom 5 years ago

I am guessing, you voted for your own comment. Nice

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Rontom 5 years ago

It amazes me how politically savvy this man, Hubert Ingraham is. Spot on with his political calculation that we witnessed in the last 9 days. The crowning jewel, which, I am convinced will be the reason ALL of the Family Islands voting for the FNM was The Red Splash: an absolute stroke of genius

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tojosmith 5 years ago

I agree about the red splash being a master political stroke. Today I spoke to one lady who was at montagu beach, and she said she had never seen that many people in one spot in her life! I predict that the FNM will prevail; I can't say by how much. I have been following politics in the Bahamas since 1967. I have seen many political parties come and go. Traditionally, third parties don't do well. In '67, there was the NDP. 3 of their candidates had been MPs. Every candidate lost their deposit save the leader, Paul Adderley. The NDP won 0 seats. Remember the Vanguard from the 1980s? Nobody took them seriously. "Who you wotin for?" "Man, I wotin Wanguard! ha ha ha!" No Vanguard candidate even came close to saving his deposit. There have been other minor parties, nobody ever won a seat. Sometimes independant candidates win seats, never members of 3rd parties. So why should the DNA be any different? I predict they will win no seats, and most, if not all will lose their deposits.

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dacy 5 years ago

no matter how they try to spin it, in the Bahamas the election is about LEADERSHIP. and when you look at the 3 leaders you have Perry, enough said, you have mr. mccartney who seem to struggle in many areas including telling the truth or saying exactly what he means. after he has spoken and the DNA have to use the next several days to clear up what he said or what he meant to say...he is not ready he is too GREEN!!! And then you have Hubert A Ingraham, one may not appreciate his style, call him biggerty, but in Hubert you have a LEADER!.

These are critical times and many international observers admires and are now doing exactly what this Hubert lead government has done during these challenging times, with the road work and the likes...Canada and other caribbean nations.

He can not lead forever, but he is the leader for this difficult season, he has proven he can handle the job and is excellent under pressure.

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