The chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), Fred Mitchell, says he believes that the new government of Bahamas, led by Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis, will be in place “certainly not beyond Saturday”.
Davis, 70, an attorney, was sworn into office during a private ceremony at the Office of the Governor-General on Friday.
Davis led the PLP to a convincing victory, winning 32 of the 39 seats in Thursday’s general election, reversing the 35-4 drubbing the party had suffered at the hands of the Free National Movement (FNM) in 2017.
Mitchell had told reporters earlier that Davis would have arrived in the capital from Cat Island, where he “won his seat resoundingly”.
Mitchell said that prior to the general election, he had been in touch with the Commissioner of Police and with Government House “about the arrangements for an orderly transition from the existing government to the new government.
“In our system, as you know…as soon as the election results are finalized by the public officials, in this case, the Parliamentary Commissioner. A letter is written to the Governor-General to advise him of the winner and the Governor-General then writes a letter to invite the Prime Minister-designate to form a government”.
Mitchell said he had expected that to have been done overnight, adding “it is my hope that as soon as possible the government will be put in place and certainly not beyond Saturday.
“There is to be no break and we understand in this climate there is to be no honeymoon. We understand that the first measure the government takes will tell the Bahamian public how serious we are about the business of governing and the business of national building,” Mitchell added.
Davis, who sold himself during the campaign as a formidable leader in stark contrast to an “out of his depth” then prime minister Dr. Hubert Minnis now faces some formidable challenges in office due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its continuing health and economic impact.
The country is still rebuilding from the battering it took in 2019 by Hurricane Dorian, one of the strongest Caribbean hurricanes on record, which killed at least 74 people and left many others missing.
In addition, the Ministry of Finance said that the national debt stood at US$10.356 billion at the end-June 2021, forecasting a $951 million fiscal deficit for 2021-2022.