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Commonwealth observers issue Interim Statement on 2017 Bahamas general elections

13 May 2017

The Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group to the 2017 Bahamas general elections has commended the country for the peaceful manner in which they exercised their right to vote on 3 May in the advanced polls and on the main Election Day of 10 May.

Issuing the Group’s interim statement in the capital, Nassau, the Hon Hannah Tetteh said the group’s overall conclusion was that the elections were peaceful and credible and the will of the people was decisively expressed with a high voter turnout.

In the Group’s statement, issued today, she praised the conduct of the police force, saying: “We were impressed with the high level of technological preparedness and the manner in which they had considered every single aspect of the electoral process that could be supported by the police. It is a model of best practice that ought to be recommended across the Commonwealth.”

Ms Tetteh also drew attention to the visibly high number of women electoral workers and commended the spirit of young people during the campaign as well as the number of young candidates participating. Two young candidates: Travis Robinson, 22 and James Albury, 23 were elected as Members of Parliament. Mr Robinson is active in the Commonwealth Youth Council.

In conclusion, the Group strongly recommended the establishment of an independent election management body with a modern voting and counting system.

The Observer Group has been present in The Bahamas since 3 May and was preceded by an advance team, which arrived in the country on 27 April.

Their final report will be completed before the Group departs on 13 May and will be made public at a later date.

Read the Interim Statement in full