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Governing Party Trounced In Bahamas Election; PLP's Davis Will Be New Prime Minister

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Philip Brave Davis of the Progressive Liberal Party will be the next Prime Minster of the Bahamas

The Progressive Liberal Party's Philip Brave Davis will be the Bahamas' next Prime Minister after beating Prime Minister Hubert Minnis' Free National Movement in a snap election driven by the pandemic.

The Bahamas held a general election Thursday — and the governing party was resoundingly thrown out of power, with liberal Philip Brave Davis set to become the island nation's next Prime Minister.

A big reason for the landslide victory of Davis and his Progressive Liberal Party (PLP): COVID-19.

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Constitutionally, the Bahamas did not have to hold a general election for another eight months. But how to handle the COVID pandemic has become such a heated issue there that Prime Minister Hubert Minnis recently called a snap vote.

It was a disaster for Minnis and his Free National Movement (FNM) Party. The FNM looks to have won only six of 39 seats in the Bahamian parliament, the House of Assembly. The PLP won more than 30.

Anxiety over the recent surge in COVID cases and deaths in the Bahamas was a key election issue — but especially how the pandemic has slammed the economy and its crucial tourism and cruise ship sector.

Davis had pledged to combat the pandemic and still grow the economy.

The pandemic has also made it harder for the Bahamas to recover from the impact of Hurricane Dorian two years ago. It left $3.5 billion in damage there.