Big changes in the Bahamas with the ousting of the Progressive Liberal Party after one term and the return of the Free National Movement who won 23 of the 41 seats in Parliament.
Lots of interesting potential parallels and precursors to Bermuda's upcoming election.
- Bahamas' racial breakdown of the electorate is about 88% Black, 12% White - the new Deputy Prime Minister, Symonette, is a white Bahamian (from one of old Bay Street families).
- The PLP attempted to play the race card but it seems to have been rejected
- Ethics, corruption and trust were major issues in the elction.
But Ingraham's party successfully raised ethical questions, including allegations that immigration officials fast-tracked a residency permit for pinup model and billionaire's widow Anna Nicole Smith, who lived in the Bahamas until her accidental drug overdose death in Florida in February.
Ingraham, who was prime minister from 1992 to 2002, portrayed the election as "a matter of trust." He also accused Christie's party of allowing foreign investors and foreign workers to profit at the expense of Bahamians.
The two rivals are lawyers and former partners in the same firm. Ingraham's FNM was associated with the predominantly white "Bay Street Boys" who ran the Bahamas prior to independence from Britain in 1973.
The party lost in a landslide when Christie's PLP, traditionally seen as the party of the black majority, swept to power in 2002. The FNM had its revenge on Wednesday by making Christie's government the only one-term government in the post-colonial Bahamas.
Ingraham's party appeared to have won over young first-time voters and the "float voters" with no strong party ties. Independent candidates took four seats in the last election but failed to win any this time.
The FNM had lodged charges of corruption against Christie's government and accused his party of offering cash and jobs for votes in Wednesday's balloting.
Hmm, all sounds so familiar.