[QODLink]
Americas
Opposition wins Bahamas election
Prime minister's success in wooing foreign investments fails to impress voters.
Last Modified: 03 May 2007 07:00 GMT
Christie was criticised by the opposition for going too far in accommodating tourism developments [AP]

A former Bahamian prime minister will form the country's new government after leading his party to victory in elections dominated by political scandals and questions about the handling of the local tourism-driven economy.
Hubert Ingraham's opposition Free National Movement (FNM) has won 23 seats in the 41-seat legislature, while the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) of Perry Christie, the outgoing prime minister, has claimed the rest, the state-owned Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas said on Thursday.
Both parties' platforms called for new strategies to curb illegal immigration, fight crime by expanding community policing and devote more resources to diplomatic missions overseas.
 
'Float voters'
 
The FNM, which held only eight seats in the outgoing parliament, appeared to have won over young first-time voters and the "float voters" with no strong party ties.
 
Officials of the party, nevertheless, said they intend to contest some of the seats that apparently went to the PLP.
 
About half the population of 300,000 was eligible to vote in Wednesday's election.
 
Ingraham, who led the Bahamas from 1992 until 2002, benefited from several scandals involving Christie's cabinet.
 
Among them was the claim that the former immigration minister fast-tracked the residency application of Anna Nicole Smith, the American pin-up model who died on the island in February.
 
Shane Gibson, who resigned in the face of accusations that he showed preferential treatment to Smith, was on the PLP's list of candidates.
 
Tourism overkill?
 
On the economic front, Ingraham gave warning that the government had gone too far in accommodating a second-home industry and tourist developments.
 
He said the country of 700 islands should lease rather than sell land to non-Bahamians.
 
He also said the Bahamas should consider abolishing the law that allows foreigners to qualify for residency by buying a house in the country.
 
Resort projects
 
Christie, a longtime political rival of Ingraham who worked as his law partner early in their careers, campaigned for a second five-year term by highlighting the $20bn in new foreign investment and resort projects since he took office.
 
Christie's PLP is traditionally seen as the party of the black majority.
 
By contrast, Ingraham's FNM was associated with the predominantly white group of politicians better known as the Bay Street Boys who governed the Bahamas prior to independence from Britain in 1973.
Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list