NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) — Prime Minister of Bahamas, Dr Hubert Minnis, has conceded defeat in Thursday’s general election saying that he had already telephoned his challenger, Phillip Davis of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), to congratulate him on his party’s electoral victory.
Minnis, the leader of the Free National Movement (FNM) had gone into the election controlling 35 of the 39 seats in parliament. Unofficial preliminary results indicated that his party had been trounced 32-7 by the PLP.
“I would like to thank the tens of thousands of Bahamians from across the Bahamas who voted for the Free National Movement candidates. I also congratulate the FNM candidates who won seats in the House of Assembly,” Minnis said.
Minnis, who was seeking a second consecutive term as head of government, had earlier in the day defended his decision to call an early general election even as the country continues to battle the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We did not win this time. But I say to the next generation of FNMs that you should stand firm to this party’s founding ideals. Always put the people first and be honest in government,” he said in his concession.
Some 119 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed on Wednesday, taking the active number to 1,679 in the nation of just 400,000 people.
Critics, including some of the country’s foremost physicians, had expressed grave concerns that the public healthcare system will continue to teeter on the verge of collapse as they predict increased virus cases.
But in his concession statement, Minnis said his administration had provided millions of dollars a month in food and unemployment benefits to citizens, as well as tax credits to businesses during the pandemic.
“We fought hard to secure more than half a million doses of three of the best vaccines in the world,” he said.
He continued: “The people have asked us to be the opposition. We will ensure the people’s resources are spent properly. We will ensure there is accountability. We will oppose when necessary. We will agree the government’s plans are in the best interests of the people.”
“I will lead the Free National Movement into the House as the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. The Bahamas has a proud democratic tradition. The people decide who serves as government.”