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Electoral observation mission final report: General elections in the Bahamas May 7, 2012
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Organization of American States. Department for Electoral Cooperatin and Observation.
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Washington, DC
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Organization of American States
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55 p.

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Elections -- Bahamas
Election monitoring -- Bahamas
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international intergovernmental publication ( marcgt )

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Department for Electoral Cooperation and Observation

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The University of The Bahamas Institutional Repository
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The University of The Bahamas Institutional Repository
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GENERAL ELECTIONS IN THE BAHAMAS MAY 7, 2012 Secretariat for Political Affairs Department for Electoral Cooperation and Observation Electoral Observation Missions (EOMs) Organization of American States (OAS) 17th Street & Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20006 USA EOM/OAS GENERAL ELECTIONS , BAHAMAS 2012 ELECTORAL OBSERVATION MISSION FINAL REPORT Organization of American States Organization of American States

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GENERAL ELECTIONS IN THE BAHAMAS MAY 7, 2012General Secretariat Organization of American StatesJos Miguel Insulza Secretary General Albert R. Ramdin Assistant Secretary General Kevin Casas-Zamora Secretary for Political Affairs Pablo Gutirrez Director Department for Electoral Cooperation and Observation ELECTORAL OBSERVATION MISSION FINAL REPORT

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OAS Cataloging-in-Publication Data Final report of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission to the General Elections in The Bahamas : May 7, 2012 / [Prepared by the Department for Electoral Cooperation and Observation]. p. ; cm. (Electoral Observations in the Americas series, no. 78) ; (OEA/Ser.D/XX SG/DCOE/II.78) ; (OEA/Ser.G CP/ doc.4801/12) ISBN 978-0-8270-5931-3 Elections--Bahamas. 2. Election monitoring--Bahamas. I. Organization of American States. Department for Electoral Cooperation and Observation. II. Series. III. Series: OEA/Ser.G CP/doc.4801/12. OEA/Ser.D/XX SG/DCOE/II.78

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TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY........................................................................................................................ . 5 CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................ . 7 CHAPTER II. POLITICAL SYSTEM AND ELECTORAL ORGANIZATI ON ................ 9 ............................................................................................................... . 9 ..............................................................................................................................10 C. . 11 13 ......................................................................................................................... 14 ..................................................... 17 ..................................................................................................................... 17 .................................................................................................................................... . 19 .................................................................................................................... . 20 CHAPTER IV. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS .................................................... . 23 APPENDICES ............................................................................................................................................. 25

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On April 3, 2012 the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (GS/OAS) received a request from the government of The Bahamas to observe the General Elections, which were due to be held in May of 2012. This request represented the rst time that The Bahamas had invited the OAS to carry out an Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) as well as the rst occasion in which observers of any kind would monitor the conduct of an electoral process in the country. In order to permit the presence of international electoral observers, the Bahamian parliament amended the Parliamentary Registration Act in February 2012, exempting accredited observers from provisions that prohibit admission to polling places. On April 4, 2012, the OAS Secretary General accepted the invitation to deploy an EOM to The Bahamas. A few days later on April 10, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham dissolved the parliament and set May 7, 2012 as the date for the General Elections. The Secretary General appointed Ambassador Alfonso Quinez, Secretary for External Relations of the Organization of American States, to lead the OAS Electoral Observation Mission in The Bahamas. Ana Mara Daz, DECO Specialist, was designated as Deputy Chief of Mission. The Mission, which was composed of 12 international observers from 10 countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Guatemala, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Switzerland and the United States), arrived in the country on May 2, 2012 and concluded its activities on May 8, 2012. OAS observers and experts observed the voting process in 30 out of the 38 constituencies in The Bahamas and conducted extensive interviews with key stakeholders, such as the Parliamentary Registration Department, government actors, political parties, the Royal Bahamas Police, the Registrar General Department and members of civil society organizations, among others. 1 1. Governor General; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign The nal results of the elections gave 29 seats in the House of Assembly to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), and the remaining nine seats to the incumbent Free National Movement (FNM). Overall results showed that the PLP received 48.62% of the vote, the FNM 42.09% and Democratic National Alliance (DNA) 8.48% of the votes. The Bahamas Constitution Party (BCP) captured 0.06% of the vote while independent candidates collectively won 0.75%. On May 8th, the Honorable Perry Christie, leader of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) was sworn in as Prime Minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The OAS Electoral Observation Mission wishes to thank the government of The Bahamas, the local authorities, candidates, party delegates, media, and members of civil society for the openness with which they received the Mission and to express its gratitude to the Governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Serbia and South Korea, as well as Mission Leadership Quebec and Universit Laval of Canada whose support made the Mission possible. The Electoral Observation Mission would also want to recognize the excellent support and cooperation provided by the OAS Ofce in The Bahamas and thank its Representative, Juliet Mallet Phillip. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 5

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The Electoral Observation Missions of the Organization of American States (OAS/EOMs) have become a key instrument for the promotion and defense of democracy in the Americas. They help guarantee the integrity, impartiality, and accountability of numerous electoral processes and strengthen the credibility of democratic institutions in Member States. The presence of an OAS/EOM represents the solidarity and support of the Inter-American community towards the efforts undertaken by democratic institutions in states that organize and administer their own electoral processes. OAS Missions promote the recognition of political rights, particularly the right to suffrage, as the legitimate expression of the opportunity of every citizen to elect representatives and to be elected in an inclusive and free manner. Since 1962, the OAS has observed more than 190 electoral processes in the Hemisphere, although the greatest advance in these initiatives has taken place in the last 15 years. In that time span, the OAS has observed many different types of elections general, presidential, parliamentary, and municipal elections, referenda, signature validation and collection processes, as well as primary elections within political parties – always at the request of the Member State. On April 3, 2012 the OAS received a request from the Government of The Bahamas to observe the General Elections that took place on Monday May 7th, 2012. Not only did this invitation represent the rst time that The Bahamas had invited the OAS to carry out an Electoral Observation Mission, it also constituted the rst occasion in which electoral observation of any kind was permitted in the country. Three months prior to the election, the government of The Bahamas amended its electoral code, the Parliamentary Registration Act, to permit the presence of observers within polling stations. On April 4, 2012, the OAS Secretary General accepted the invitation to deploy a Mission and set in motion preparations for the EOM. The Secretary General appointed Ambassador Alfonso Quinez, Secretary for External Relations of the Organization of American States, to lead the OAS Electoral Observation Mission in The Bahamas. He was assisted by Ana Mara Daz, DECO Specialist, as Deputy Chief of Mission. The Mission comprised 12 international observers from nine OAS Member States (Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Guatemala, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and the United States) and one Observer Country (Switzerland). The Mission began its work with the arrival of the Core Group on May 2, 2012 and concluded on May 8, 2012. Regarding the gender composition of this OAS/EOM, 42 percent of the observers were women, and 58 percent were men. The main purpose of the OAS/EOM was to observe the Bahamian electoral process and to verify its compliance with internationally recognized principles and standards and to ensure the organization of “free and fair elections,” as established in the Inter-American Democratic Charter. 2 Specically, the objectives of this Mission were: This report is organized in four chapters. The next chapter presents a general overview of the political system and electoral organization in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The third chapter describes the activities of the OAS/EOM as well as its observations from the three key stages of the electoral process: the pre-electoral period, Election Day, and the post-electoral stage. The nal chapter presents the general conclusions of the Mission, including recommendations to further strengthen electoral processes in The Bahamas. 2 CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION 7

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A. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Population and Demographics The Bahamas is an archipelago that spans 5,358 sq. miles (13,878 sq. km.), consisting of 700 islands and 2,400 cays, although only thirty of these islands are inhabited. As of the 2010 census the population of The Bahamas totaled 353,658, of which approximately 84% live in urban areas. Nearly 90% of the Bahamian population is clustered on one of the three major islands: New Providence accounts for 69.9% of the population, while Grand Bahama and Abaco account for 15.5% between them. The rest of the population is scattered on the remaining islands and cays. The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. According to the World Bank, in terms of GDP per capita it is the 3 rd richest OAS Member State (behind the United States and Canada) and the 33 rd richest country in the world. Tourism together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago's labor force. 3 This map displays the location of the various islands that make up the archipelago of The Bahamas: Source: Nations Online Project 4 4 . CHAPTER II. POLITICAL SYSTEM AND ELECTORAL ORGANIZATION 9

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Political BackgroundBahamian politics have traditionally been characterized by a two-party system dominated by the centre-left Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the centreright Free National Movement (FNM). In the context of the 2012 elections, the newly-created Democratic National Alliance (DNA) emerged as a third force in the lead-up to polling day, presenting candidates in all constituencies. A handful of smaller parties, notably The Bahamas Constitution Party and Bahamas Democratic Movement, the Coalition for Democratic Reform and the Bahamian Nationalist Party, are active but have to date not gained representation in parliament. þ The PLP, which led the country to political independence from Great Britain in July 1973, dominated national politics from independence until the 1990s under the stewardship of Lynden Pindling, who is widely considered the father of the nation. The party won every election until 1992, at which point it was defeated by the FNM, led by Hubert Ingraham. The FNM successfully won re-election in 1997 but power was ceded back to the PLP in 2002, ushering in a government under Prime Minister Perry Christie. In the elections of May 2007, the FNM once again won a majority under Ingraham, securing 23 seats in the 41-seat parliament. Over 92.1% of the country's 150,684 registered voters turned out at the polls on that occasion. þ The main issues in the 2007 electoral pr ocess were the economy, foreign investment and immigration policy. The 2007 elections turned out once again to be a contest between the two major parties. At stake were the 41 seats in the House of Assembly, which included one newly-created seat. PLP Prime Minister Perry Christie, seeking a second consecutive term in ofce, called on voters to support his government's economic record, which he claimed had attracted 20 billion dollars of foreign investment. On the other hand, the FNM argued that the government had been overly accommodating of investors, and insisted the country's land should be leased rather than sold to foreign investors. Against this background, both parties pledged to deal squarely with migration and to take steps to stem illegal immigration to the country. Though voting is not compulsory in The Bahamas, voter participation has been notably high in the last two electoral processes.5 5. The Government of The Bahamas, B. POLITICAL SYSTEM þ The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is a parliamentary democracy that operates on the Westminster model. 1. Executive Branch þ As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the constitutional head of The Bahamian state is Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom who is represented in The Bahamas by the Governor-General. The head of government is the Prime Minister. Following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is appointed Prime Minister by the GovernorGeneral. 2. Legislative Branch þ The Bahamas has a bicameral parliament, though the lower house the House of Assembly carries out all major legislative functions. As currently constituted, the House of Assembly has 38 members each of whom is directly elected in a single-member constituency by a plurality of votes cast (rst-past-the-post) vote. Members serve terms not to exceed ve years. þ The upper house, or Senate, consists of 16 members, who are technically appointed by the Governor General. In practice, the Prime Minister designates nine senators, while the Leader of the Opposition names four. The GovernorGeneral appoints the remaining three on the advice of the Prime Minister, after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. 3. Judicial Branch þ The basis of the Bahamian Law and legal system is the English Common Law tradition. Justices of the Supreme Court, Registrars and Magistrates are appointed by The Governor-General acting on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission. The Judicial and Legal Service Commission comprises ve persons with the Chief Justice as Chairman. The Chief Justice and the Justices of the Court of Appeal, including the President, are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.6 6. The Government of The Bahamas, 10

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4. Political Parties Each political party in The Bahamas, of which four were active in the 2012 process, nominates one candidate for each constituency. Independent candidates may also stand for elections. The party that wins the most constituencies is asked by the Governor General to form the Government and the leader of that party is appointed Prime Minister. The party that has the second highest number of seats in the House of Assembly is referred to as the Ofcial Opposition. Any citizen of The Bahamas who is 21 years of age or older and has ordinarily resided in The Bahamas for a period of at least one year immediately before the date of his or her nomination for election is eligible for election to the House of Assembly. In total 133 candidates, including 14 independents and the representatives of four political parties competed in the 2012 general elections in The Bahamas. The following parties put forth candidates for the 38 seats in the National Assembly: Party Party Leader Number of Candidates Free National Movement (FNM) Hubert Ingraham 38 Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Perry Christie 38 Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Granville McCartney 38 Bahamas Constitution Party (BCP) Sharell Ali McKintosh 5 C. ELECTORAL LEGISLATION The Bahamas instituted universal suffrage in 1967 and attained formal independence from the United Kingdom in 1973. Provisions governing the conduct and procedure of national elections are principally found in the Parliamentary Elections Act, 1992, which provides guidelines for the registration of voters, the conduct of elections, electionday procedures, electoral offenses, the counting of votes, ascertainment of electoral results and procedures for the contesting of elections. The principal electoral management body in The Bahamas is the Parliamentary Registration Department. The department is headed by a Parliamentary Commissioner, who is a public ofcer appointed by the Governor-General in accordance with the advice of the Public Service Commission. Duties of the Parliamentary Commissioner include keeping the register and carrying out the requirements of the Parliamentary Elections Act regarding the registration of voters and the holding of elections. The Parliamentary Commissioner is represented by returning ofcers in each constituency. The following chart summarizes the organizational structure of the Parliamentary Registration Department: Source: Parliamentary Registration Department According to Article 8 of the Parliamentary Elections Act, all persons who have reached the age of 18 or over, hold Bahamian citizenship, have not been subject to any legal incapacity and who have been ordinarily resident for a minimum of three months prior to their registration in the constituency in which they intend to vote are entitled to register on the list of electors. Exceptions to the requirement of ordinary residence are made for persons who are absent for reason of employment and intend to resume “actual residence” within six months of giving up such residence and for students who intend to resume actual residence within six months of the completion of such course of study. 11

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The Electoral Code calls for a complete re-registration of voters every ve years. Specically, the register ceases to have effect “at the end of each succeeding period of ve years next following the date of its coming into force,” or upon a date determined by Governor-General, with thirty days notice. Once the register expires, all voter’s cards and counterfoils previously issued are considered void. The Parliamentary Elections Act assigns the Parliamentary Commissioner responsibility for the preparation of a new register. Revising ofcers are required to be in attendance in the ofce of the Parliamentary Commissioner’s ofce in New Providence during regular government hours and at a place in each constituency on at least one day in every six months for the purpose of hearing and determining registration applications. Furthermore, the Parliamentary Commission may, at any time after the coming into force of the register and prior to its closing for a general election, appoint two scrutineers in each polling division in order to ascertain the accuracy of the register. Any person wishing to be registered as a voter must apply for registration in the polling division in which he or she is ordinarily resident. Under the supervision of the revising ofcer, a potential voter must produce such reasonable evidence as the revising ofcer shall consider necessary to prove that he or she is qualied to be registered, take an oath and have two identical copies of a photograph taken. The revising ofcer then prepares voter’s card and counterfoil for that person. Before issuing a voter’s card, the revising ofcer shall require the person to whom it is issued to sign that card and counterfoil and also sign the counterfoil for him or herself. As specied in Form C of the Parliamentary Elections Act, a voter’s card shall contain the following particulars: Source: Parliamentary Elections Act As per the Parliamentary Elections Act, the Parliamentary Commissioner must at all times keep a copy of the register that is open for inspection. In the case of any change, the Commissioner must have ready for public inspection the amended register within seven days in New Providence and within 14 days in the Family Islands. Additionally, a certied copy of the register for the entire nation must be published every three years. The Commissioner is required to keep the several parts of the register under continuous review for the purpose of ensuring that no person is named more than once in the electoral list or registered by virtue of a qualication which he or she does not hold. If at any time the Commissioner has reasonable cause to believe that any person on the register is not entitled to be registered, he or she must send notice to the person in question to the addresses as shown on the register stating that objection is made to the inclusion of that person’s and giving notice of the day on which that objection shall be heard, which shall be held not less than seven days after the sending of the notice. Every six months, the Commissioner must publish, whether on a public notice board or at the ofce of the Commissioner in that constituency, the names and particulars of those persons whom he or she has reasonable cause to believe should seek a transfer to another part of the register. Objections are public hearings where the onus proof is on the appellant. If any party fails to appear at the hearing, the revising ofcer may on good cause adjourn the hearing for not more than three days. The revising ofcer shall cause the register to be altered as may be required to give effect to his or her decision. Where a general election is held, the Parliamentary Commissioner must publish the register at the ofce of the Parliamentary Commissioner within fourteen days of the issue of the writ of the election and copy of the parts of the register relating to any constituency in the Family Islands at the ofce of the administrator. As regards to electoral boundaries and polling divisions, the Constitution of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas establishes that the country will be divided into thirty-eight constituencies or such greater number as may be provided for by an order made by the Governor-General. Each constituency is represented by one member in the House or Assembly. At intervals of no more than ve years, a Constituencies Commission must review the number and boundaries of constituencies and submit a report to the Governor-General either recommending certain changes or determining that no change is necessary. 12

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þ The Commission is comprised of ve members: the Speaker of the Assembly7 as Chairman, a Justice of the Supreme Court who is Deputy Chairman and three members of the House of Assembly who are appointed by the Governor-General: two in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister and one in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition. The Parliamentary Registration Act grants the Governor-General the prerogative to further divide constituencies into polling divisions, stipulating that, so far as it is practicable, the boundaries of polling divisions shall be drawn so that they do not encompass more than approximately four hundred registered voters. þ For the 2012 electoral process, The Bahamas was divided into the following 38 constituencies: Source: Prepared by OAS/DECO with Information from Parliamentary Registration Department D. VOTING PROCEDURE þ Each polling station in The Bahamas is managed by a presiding ofcer. Presiding ofcers are directly appointed by the Parliamentary Commissioner and are typically public ofcers. Responsible for keeping order within the polling place, presiding officers are assisted by a number 7. According to Article 50 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the House elects the Speaker of the Assembly from among the members who are not Ministers or Parliamentary Secretaries. ko-KP of polling clerks that is determined by the Parliamentary Commissioner. The electoral code stipulates that such clerks should be public ofcers if practicable. As regards to the 2012 electoral process, polling places were manned by six polling ofcials: a presiding ofcer, assistant presiding ofcer, information clerk, stamp clerk, register clerk and a counterfoil clerk. Floor clerks and police ofcers are also present at most polling stations. Additionally, candidates are permitted to designate election agents as their representation within the polling stations. No more than three election agents per candidate are allowed to be present at any given time within a polling place. þ In preparation for polling day, the returning ofcer in each constituency provides every presiding ofcer with a locked ballot box or the number of ballot boxes as the returning ofcer shall consider necessary. These ballot boxes, one of which contains the necessary number of ballots (as determined by the returning ofcer) are delivered to every polling place before the beginning of the voting along with the following materials: such number of compartments (booths) so that at least one booth is provided for each 150 persons registered in that particular constituency; election ink; indelible pencils; a copy of the electoral register in abbreviated form and a copy of the part of the register for the polling division and a standard notice giving directions for the guidance of voters. These voter instructions must be displayed outside every polling place and in every compartment within the polling place. þ At 7:30 am, the pr esiding ofcer, in the presence of all polling ofcials, election agents and observers, is responsible for discharging the following duties: unlocking the ballot box; removing the ballot papers; displaying the empty ballot box to each person so that they may verify that it is empty; placing in the box the ballot papers which may have been delivered in respect of an advance poll; locking and sealing the ballot box and placing the box in his/her view for the receipt of ballots. The presiding ofcer is also charged with lling out a standardized form that registers the number of ballots which he or she received. þ Polls are open in The Bahamas from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm. Any elector admitted to the polling place is required to produce a voter’s card or other sufcient means of identication8 to the information clerk, who checks to see whether the voter has already voted by inspecting the voter’s card and thumb for indelible ink and determines whether that elector is entitled to vote in that polling division. If it is determined that the elector is not entitled to vote in that polling division but in some other division or constituency, it is the role of the information clerk to direct that person to the appropriate polling place if possible. 14 CONSTITUENCY ISLANDS(S) CONSTITUENCY ISLANDS(S) 1. Bains Town & Grants Town New Providence 24. Central Grand Bahama Grand Bahama 2. Bamboo T own 25. East Grand Bahama 3. Carmichael 26. Marco City 4. Centreville 27. Pineridge 5. Elizabeth 28. West Grand Bahama & Bimini Grand Bahama/Bimini 6. Englerston 7. Fort Charlotte 29. Central & South Abaco Abaco 8. Fox Hill 30. North Abaco 9. Garden Hills 31. Mangrove Cay & South Andros Andros, Mangrove Cay 10. Go lden Gates 11. Golden Isles 32. North Andros & The Berry Islands Andros, Berry Islands 12. Killarney 13. Marathon 33. Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador 14. Mon tagu 15. Mount Moriah 34. Central & South Eleuthera Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Spanish Wells 16. Nassau Village 35. North Eleuthera 17. Pinewood 36. The Exumas & Ragged Island Exuma, Black Point, Ragged Island 18. Saint Anne's 19. Sea Breeze 37. Long Island Long Island 20. South Beach 38. MICAL Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins & Green Turtle Cay 21. Southern Shores 22. Tall Pines 23. Yamacraw Source: Prepared by OAS/DECO with Information from Parliamentary Registration Department Each polling station in The Bahamas is managed by a presiding officer. Presiding officers are directly appointed by the Parliamentary Commissioner and are typically public officers. Responsible for keeping order within the polling place, presiding officers are assisted by a number of polling clerks that is determined by the Parliamentary Commissioner. The electoral code stipulates that such clerks should be public officers if practicable. As regards to the 2012 electoral process, polling places were manned by six polling officials: a presiding officer, assistant presiding officer, information clerk, stamp clerk, register clerk and a counterfoil clerk. Floor clerks and police officers are also present at most polling stations. Additionally, candidates are permitted to designate election agents as their representation within the polling stations. No more than three election agents per candidate are allowed to be present at any given time within a polling place. 13

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Once satised with the eligibility of the voter, the information clerk refers the elector to the counterfoil clerk, who examines the voter’s card to see if it is defective in any way: if the signature of the voter or the revising ofcer is missing or if the photograph is not afxed by an impression seal, for example. Any defects to the voter’s card are to be brought to the attention of the presiding ofcer, who makes the nal determination as to the identity of and the right of the voter. In instances where the voter is identied by a means other than a voter’s card, the counterfoil clerk is also responsible for ensuring that the photograph on the counterfoil matches the appearance of the voter. After the counterfoil clerk conrms the identity of the voter, the voter proceeds to the register clerk to determine whether: the entry in the registry relating to the given elector is correct or alternatively whether the voter has a voter’s card but his or her name does not appear in the register for the relevant constituency or polling division. If the voter is eligible to vote in that polling division, the stamp clerk stamps the second page of the voter card. The voter is returned his or her voter’s card after the presiding ofcer has allowed the elector to vote. Before an elector is allowed to vote, the presiding ofcer is responsible for carrying out the following duties: signing his or her name on the back of the ballot, marking the number of the voter’s card on the counterfoil; calling out the number, full name and description of the voter as stated in the register and marking the thumb of the voter by dipping the thumb of his or her right hand in ink. The presiding ofcer then proceeds to give the following directions: that the elector should enter one of the compartments of the polling place; use the pencil provided to mark one cross in the space opposite the name of the desired candidate; fold the ballot paper so as to conceal his or her vote after marking the ballot; show the back of the folded ballot to the presiding ofcer so that the ofcer can see his or her own signature; drop the ballot paper into the ballot box without showing the front of the ballot paper to anyone and leave the polling place without delay. As regards to the procedures to facilitate the voting of incapacitated electors, the friend of any incapacitated voter is allowed to accompany the voter into one of the compartments to make the vote for him or her. Both the voter and the friend must subscribe to an oath, afrming that the friend will keep secret the name of the candidate for whom the cross is made and that he or she has not already acted as a friend for another voter. The presiding ofcer is required to keep a list of incapacitated persons that contains the name of every such voter as well as the reason why the ballot paper was marked by a friend. Though the Parliamentary Elections Act describes these procedures for incapacitated voters, it does not clearly dene incapacitated. The provision refers to “any voter who is incapacitated by blindness or any other physical cause from voting in the manner prescribed by this Act”. At the close of the poll, the presiding ofcer opens the ballot box, counts the regular and protest ballots and declares the result of the count in the presence of the candidates or their election agents as well as observers. The presiding ofcer then prepares a statement of polls and places one copy in the ballot box and prepares another for the returning ofcer. After preparing the statement, the ofcer makes a number of sealed packets containing: unused and spoilt papers; rejected ballot papers; counted ballot papers; counterfoils of the sued, spoilt and rejected ballot papers placed together; the marked copy of the part of the register for the polling division and the list of incapacitated voters. These packets are then placed in the ballot box and the ballot box is locked and delivered to the returning ofcer along with the completed statement of polls. One agent from each candidate is permitted to accompany the person delivering the box to the returning ofcer. Election agents are entitled to copies of the statement of polls, which cost $1.50 each. Following this “preliminary count” at the polling stations on the day of the election, all the votes in a given constituency are recounted the following day by the returning ofcer, in the presence of candidates and elections agents at a location that is determined and announced before the close of the poll. The ofcial declaration of result in each constituency is then published. In the case of the 2012 General Elections, an advance voting process was carried out on May 1 st , six days before Election Day, both within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas in the case of The Royal Bahamas Defense Force and in Bahamian Embassies and Consulates, for those voters who lived overseas. Ballots from the advance poll were placed in the ballot boxes in appropriate constituencies prior to the opening of the polls and counted along with the ballots cast on Election Day. E. POLITICAL FINANCING As is the case with most other states in the Commonwealth Caribbean, The Bahamas does not have a tradition of public funding for political parties or candidates or any specic legislation governing campaign contributions or expenditures. The principal electoral law in The Bahamas, the Parliamentary Elections Act of 1992, contains no provisions covering campaign contributions. No other act authorizes public funds for campaigns or political parties. Nor are there legal regulations on the origin of the private resources that enter campaigns; The Bahamas does not even prohibit nancing from foreign and/or anonymous sources. There are no regulations that limit total expenditure by political parties on campaigns. Nor are there restrictions on the most costly aspects of a 14

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campaign, known as triggers of expenditure. While not specically covering elections, the Public Disclosure Act of 1977 ostensibly entails a modicum of disclosure and accountability regarding access to the media for candidates of the Lower House and the Senate and other nonelected public ofcials. The Act also requires candidates for elective ofce to provide a declaration of income and assets. However, the nancing of political campaigns in The Bahamas is generally considered an entirely private affair between party candidates and their contributors. In terms of accountability, the legal framework in The Bahamas does not require political parties to register the ows of campaign funds, or regulate the administration of said resources. The current legal framework does not grant supervisory functions to the electoral management body in terms of campaign nance, nor does it delegate these functions to other public entities. Indeed, there is currently no state-run control mechanism directed at political parties in terms of the nancing of electoral campaigns. The Mission considers that the current system, in which campaign nance is entirely of private origin and essentially unregulated, has the potential to affect the equity of electoral competition. Such a system also exposes the country to the possible inltration of illicit funds into politics. The lack of reporting requirements for political parties combined with the fact that the legal framework does not endow the electoral authority with supervisory functions in the area of political nancing or delegate this function to another organism leads to a decit of accountability in the area of political nancing. Lastly, the Mission notes with concern that the absence of guaranteed access to information on campaign spending leads to a lack of transparency that has a potentially negative impact on the ability of voters to make informed decisions. 15

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A. PRE-ELECTION PERIOD On April 10, 2012, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham announced that he would be proroguing the parliament and that General Elections would be held on May 7, 2012. Prior to the announcement of the election date, which was constitutionally due by May of 2012, the House of Assembly passed the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2012 which not only allowed access to polling stations for observers but also claried provisions relating to the registration and enrollment of overseas voters. The 2012 process was the rst time in which overseas voting was carried out in The Bahamas. Overseas voting was conducted on the 1 st of May, coinciding with the advance voting for The Royal Bahamas Defence and Police Forces. Both advance and overseas ballots were placed into the ballot boxes at designated polling stations prior to the ofcial opening of the polls. Thirty-eight seats were contested in this election, following the ruling of the constitutionally mandated Constituencies Commission which in 2011 reduced the number of seats from 41, the number of seats in existence in the 2007 general election. As a result, several candidates were competing in newly drawn districts. Nomination Day was set for April 17, 2012. On that day a total of 133 Bahamians were ofcially nominated as candidates. The Free National Movement, the Progressive Liberal Party and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) each presented full slates of candidates, with representation in each of the 38 constituencies within The Bahamas. Additionally, ve candidates were nominated from The Bahamas Constitution Party (BCP) as well as 14 independents. Although the election date was announced in April, campaign season had been in full swing since late January 2012, with some indicating it had started even before then. The PLP, the FNM and the DNA had informally launched their candidates for each of the 38 constituencies, though there were some minor changes in candidate slates in the weeks and months leading up to nomination day, after which no further changes could be made. As of February 2, 2012 ofcial statistics put the total number of registered voters at 153,531. By the time the nal list was published on April 20, 2012, the voter’s roll had grown to 172,130. Of registered voters, 118,144 (69%) were on the island of New Providence, and 26,991 (16%) on Grand Bahama while the remaining 26.995 (15%) were scattered over the Family Islands. High unemployment, rising debt levels, problems in the local housing market in particular and a recent spike in crime were the main substantive issues over which the election campaign was fought. There were 127 murders in 2011, the most recorded in any single year in the country. Other issues included opposition to the government’s program of privatization and foreign investment in telecommunications, tourism and other sectors. High unemployment, estimated at 13.7% by the Department of Statistics of The Bahamas, as well as rising public debt levels weighed on the incumbent FNM’s popularity rating. 1. Campaign and Rallies: Some political tension was noted between the two main parties during the campaign. According to different stakeholders, the tension was based on accusations that the governing party had been engaging in practices that gave it an unfair advantage in the process. This included suggestions of jobs and contracts being awarded in the weeks and days leading up to the May 7 poll and the use of state resources for the campaigns. Based on the various meetings, the OAS Mission noted preoccupation regarding the large number of persons who were naturalized and became Bahamian citizens in certain constituencies in the period immediate to the elections. Further, the two major political parties traded accusations at each other about the level of campaign nancing expenditure by each party, evident by the substantial costs of the preparations for and props distributed at political rallies, and the lack of information about the sources of funding of these campaign expenditures. In terms of party rallies, the OAS/EOM observers that attended them observed that they were carried out in a lively and calm manner. There were no reported cases of electoral violence. 2. Registry and the Electoral Boundaries Commission The OAS Electoral Observation Mission noted the signicant efforts made by the Parliamentary Registration Department to educate voters on the voting process and to carry out the work needed for a well conducted electoral process. The Mission recognizes as a positive step forward the amendments to the Electoral Law passed by the government which allowed overseas voting for the rst time in Bahamian history, and the efforts by authorities to CHAPTER III. MISSION ACTIVITIES AND OBSERVATIONS 17

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ensure that this new process was implemented efciently. The Parliamentary Registration Department deserves praise for providing timely information about polling station locations and returning ofcers, as exemplied by the government notices published in newspapers on April 27, 2012, ten days before Election Day. The Mission was pleased to note that The Bahamas undertakes a complete re-registration of voters every ve years. This positive effort guarantees that the electoral register accurately reects the current voting population, and deserves recognition as an effective mechanism to maintain a continually up to date voter’s list. The Bahamas also redraws its constituency boundaries on a regular basis, a process that is implemented by the constitutionally-mandated Constituencies Commission. The Mission also observed that the constituency boundaries were redrawn immediately before the elections. Although legal procedures were respected, the Mission considered that citizen ownership or buy-in of the process would have beneted from a slower procedure. While the Mission recognizes the periodic re-drawing of boundaries as a necessary process to ensure that constituencies keep pace with the changing demographics of the nation, it observed that the political nature of the commission’s composition has the potential to affect the perception of independence in the process and may generate the idea that it favors the governing party since three out of its ve members are designated by the majority party. The incorporation of mechanisms to enhance the impartiality and autonomy of the boundary drawing process, such as allowing all parties and other actors to have access to the process for instance, would contribute towards generating even more independence and transparency 3. Political Financing As noted above, The Bahamas does not operate with a legal framework that governs the nancing of political parties and campaigns. The Mission noted as a positive feature of the process that candidates seeking elective ofce are required by law to make a declaration of income and assets. Each of these declarations, along with the nomination forms, were published by the Parliamentary Registration Department in the media in the weeks leading up to the election. On the other hand, there is no such disclosure requirement for the nancing of their campaigns. Based on concerns raised by a wide variety of stakeholders, the OAS Mission noted the importance of and need for campaign nancing regulations, although the parties appeared less concerned about this issue than other stakeholders. The Mission documented at least two concerns coming from various actors: one, related to large donations coming into the campaigns from foreign actors and the second one related to the use of state resources in the campaign. Complaints of this kind need to be reported to the corresponding authorities to prevent future occurrence. The absence of regulation has the potential to impact the accountability, transparency and equity of the democratic process. On the issue of campaign nancing, the Mission would like to emphasize three key points: 4. The Participation of Women Regarding the participation of men and women in Bahamian politics, the Mission observed that women are under-represented in elected positions in The Bahamas. The 2012 electoral process coincided with the 50 th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the country. Women were able to vote for the rst time on November 26, 1962, making The Bahamas one of the last countries in the region to grant this fundamental right. Women represent the majority of the total population (52.8%) and an even higher percentage of registered voters, 55.4% of the electoral registry. Out of 172,128 voters registered for this election, there were 18,574 more women registered than men. Nonetheless, the Mission noted with concern that high levels of female participation as registered voters has not translated into a high presence of women in political ofce or on the lists of candidates presented to voters. Prior to the 2012 elections only 5 out of the 41 Lower House members were women, 12.2 % of the total. As regards to the upper house, 5 out of 15 senators were female, representing 33.3%. Of the 133 candidates who ran in the 2012 elections, only 22 were women (16.5%) and of this number only 5 were elected (22.7%). Female members now constitute 13.16% of the National Assembly, a slight increase from the 12.2% represented prior to the 2012 elections 9 . 18

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5. Media The media in The Bahamas, which in recent years has gone through a signicant transformation, is robust. There are daily newspapers available in print and electronic format and the country has two television stations which are operated by the government-owned, commercially run Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas (BCB or ZNS). Multi-channel cable TV subscription service is also available. There are a handful of private radio stations. About 15 radio stations that are part of the BCB operate a multi-channel radio broadcasting network alongside privately-owned radio stations. In terms of regulation of the media, the Parliamentary Elections Act calls for a three-member Electoral Broadcasting Council, appointed by the Governor-General and acting on the recommendations and consultations of the Prime Minister along with the Leader of the Opposition. The Council is charged with monitoring the electoral campaign coverage of The Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas for the purpose of ensuring that there is accuracy and fairness in the reporting of the campaign. It also acts as a board of review to hear any complaints made by a political party or candidate at an election with respect of the breach of rules relating to political broadcasts or advertisements. The law specically states that “the Council shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.” The Mission considers it important to note that telecommunications in The Bahamas have expanded signicantly since 1992 and were liberalized in 2000 with the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1999. This development has provided political parties with greater opportunities to access media outlets during the campaign. However, only the state owned Broadcasting Corporation that operates under a new Communications Act “ComsAct” and under the Regulatory Regime : Utilities Regulation & Competition Authority (URCA) has the capacity, mainly by means of radio transmission, to provide extensive service to all of the islands within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. However, the Mission noted that alternative outlets should be promoted to provide electors with more information to exercise an informed vote. It would therefore be of great importance to guarantee access to all political parties and candidates and to stimulate political debate among them through this medium. B. Election Day On Election Day, the team of OAS international observers was deployed to New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco and Andros, covering 30 out of the 38 constituencies in the country. Throughout the day, observers visited numerous polling stations within their constituencies, to observe the opening, the voting process, the closing of polls and the counting process. Observers monitored the opening and closing of the polls at the same polling station. In all, observers were able to visit 61 of 187 voting centers (32.6%) and 189 out of 435 polling stations, covering 43.4% of the total throughout the islands of The Bahamas. In terms of the opening of the voting process, all designated presiding ofcers and poll clerks were present prior to the opening of the polls and all polling stations observed had the required material. Voting started on time at 8:00 am in all polling stations observed. Observers noted that most of the presiding ofcers and other poll workers as well as party agents were women. Of poll clerks, present in the stations observed, about 15% were men and 85% women. Among presiding ofcers, about 38% were men while 62% were women. In all observed polling stations throughout the day, party agents from the FNM and PLP were present. Representatives from the DNA were also observed in over 80% of the polling stations visited by the Mission. Of party agents observed, about 30% were men and 70% were women. The Mission observed that the voting was conducted in a uid, transparent and peaceful manner demonstrating the prevailing respect of the Bahamian people for the democratic process. Voters voluntarily relinquished their cell phones and hats prior to entering the polling places, as required by law, and deserve praise for their cooperation with election ofcials. Poll workers discharged their responsibilities in a serious and meticulous fashion, ensuring that voters were able to exercise their franchise quickly and efciently without delay. The Mission also noted the extensive police presence in the voting centers. Observers reported that voters invariably had adequate information about the location of their polling station. Efforts to educate voters were in evidence as the Mission noted that voters were very familiar with the voting process. Observers commended the fact that the voting process was standardized and uniform in all observed locations. In all observed cases police were present and helpful to ensure a peaceful atmosphere on Election Day with no violent incidents or acts of intimidation observed. All observers reported that the voting centers were t for the purpose. Infrastructure for senior citizens and persons with disabilities was installed and they were assisted by various poll workers and the police, in order to ensure easy access to the polling stations. Even though the number of people registered for the 2012 general elections represented a signicant increase from 2007, voter participation on Election Day declined slightly compared to the previous process. According to data provided by the Parliamentary Registration 19

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Department, whereas in the 2007 elections, out of a total of 150,684 registered voters, 138,800 people voted (92.1% voter turnout), in the 2012 elections, out of a total of 172,128 registered voters a total of 155,948 Bahamians cast their vote (90.4% voter turnout). The Mission commends such a high rate of participation especially in light of the fact that voting is not compulsory in The Bahamas. Polling stations closed on time at 6:00 pm in all observed polling stations and there were no reports of voters left in line at the time who were not able to vote. In general, the Mission considered that the closing process was wellorganized and conducted according to legal procedures. Observers noted that disputes regarding the count were resolved in a civil manner and that a collegial atmosphere prevailed among the representatives of the various parties. C. POST-ELECTORAL PROCESS Results were updated periodically following the count of each box and made available to the public through television stations on the night of election. The transparency and efciency with which results were disseminated contributed to a peaceful atmosphere in the country. On the evening of May 7 th , once it became clear that the incumbent FNM would lose its majority, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham conceded the elections and publicly announced his retirement from politics. In accordance with the law, a recount was carried out on May 8 th . Election results became ofcial after the recount was nalized in two constituencies, North Andros and South Eluthera, in which the results were particularly close. The nal results of the elections gave 29 seats in the House of Assembly to the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), and nine seats to the incumbent Free National Movement (FNM). Overall results showed that the PLP received 48.62% of the votes, the FNM obtained 42.09% of the votes and Democratic National Alliance (DNA) had 8.48% of the votes. The BCP captured 0.06% of the vote while independent candidates collectively won 0.75%. Of the 22 women candidates competing in the 2012 electoral process, only 5 won their seats (22.5%) Female members now constitute 13.7% of the National Assembly, a slight increase from the 12.2% represented prior to the 2012 elections. On May 8th, the Honorable Perry Christie, leader of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) was sworn in as Prime Minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Elected candidates sat for the rst session of the new parliament on May 24, 2012. 20

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ELECTION RESULTS ARE SUMMARIZED IN THE FOLLOWING FIGURES: FIGURE 1: VOTER DISTRIBUTION (PERCENTAGE OF VOTES PER POLITICAL PARTY) BAHAMAS GENERAL ELECTIONS 201 ko-KP2en 0.81 0.75 0.06 8.48 42.09 48.62 Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Free National Movement (FNM) Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Bahamas Constitution Party (BCP) Independent Candidates Source ko-KP: Prepared by OAS/DECO for this report with data from the Parliamentary Registration Department FIGURE 2: VOTER DISTRIBUTION: BAHAMAS GENERAL ELECTIONS 2012 en 75,815 65,634 13,226 96 1,177 0 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000 Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Free National Movement (FNM) Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Bahamas Constitution Party (BCP) Independent Candidates ko-KPSource: Prepared by OAS/DECO for this report with data from the Parliamentary Registration Department 21

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FIGURE 3: SEATS IN PARLIAMENT 2007 v 2012 29 18 9 23 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 2012 2007 PLP FNM Source: Prepared by OAS/DECO for this report with data from the Parliamentary Registration Department FIGURE 4: SEATS IN PARLIAMENT: VARIATION 2007 v 201 2 Parties Total Seats Variation Received Votes (%) 2007 2012 Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) 18 29 11 75,815 (48.62%) Free National Movement (FNM) 23 9 14 65,634 (42.09%) Total (PLP + FNM) 41 38 141,449 (90.71%) Total No. of Registered Voters 172,128 Total No. of Votes Cast 155,948 (90.6%) Source: Prepared by OAS/DECO for this report with data from the Parliamentary Registration Department 22

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With the purpose of strengthening the electoral system in The Bahamas, and based on the observations and information gathered both in the pre-electoral period and on Election Day, the OAS Electoral Observation Mission would like to offer the following recommendations: 1. To consider adopting a legal framework on the nancing of political parties and campaigns, specically rules that limit campaign spending, that prohibit anonymous and foreign contributions and the establishment of mechanisms to oversee the money coming in and out of campaigns. The Mission also recommends that wider access to public information be provided to citizens regarding the use of campaign funds and the enactment of requirements for parties to disclose such information. In particular, the OAS/EOM would recommend, To establish legal prohibitions for anonymous and foreign donations, as well as limits to private donations and norms to control in-kind donations from the media. Through adequate norms, to require political parties to establish mechanisms to register the resources/funds coming in and out of the campaign and to produce consolidated reports. To delegate functions of control and supervision of the nancing of party campaigns to public organisms such as the Electoral Department and the Director of Audit, and to endow them with the necessary nancial and human resources to do this task. To establish norms to improve the supply and demand of access to information regarding the nancing of political party campaigns. CHAPTER IV. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 2. To encourage political parties to incorporate more wom en in both leadership positions within party structures and as candidates for the National Assembly. In par ticular, the Mission reccommends that serious consid eration be given to legal mechanisms to guaratee more gender balance within political parties leadership and within the candidate lists presented to voters, includ ing the consideration of positive discrimination mecha nisms as well as others to promote female leadership within the parties. 3. To consider the incorporation of mechanisms to enhance the impartiality and independence of the Boundary Drawing Process, such as the potential introduction of standardized technical criteria in the drawing of constituencies and the inclusion of uniform criteria in the selection of Boundary Commissioners. The Mission also recommends to consider allowing more time to carry out the drawing process to promote buy-in from electoral actors and to give access to party representatives to be able to observe the above described process. 4. To urge continued and broader access to the State Broadcasting Corporation for all political parties and candidates, continued updating of the broadcasting regulatory framework and stimulation of the public debate through the media among the parties and civil society organizations. 23

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APPENDICES

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APPENDIX I: LETTER OF INVITATION 27

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APPENDIX II: LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE 28

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APPENDIX III: AGREEMENT ON PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES 29

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30

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35

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APPENDIX IV: AGREEMENT ON OBSERVATION PROCEDURES 37

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APPENDIX V: LIST OF OBSERVERS Electoral Observation Mission The Bahamas 2012 General Elections Name Nationality Sex Position CORE GROUP 1 Alfonso Quionez Guatemala M Chief of Mission 2 Ana Maria Diaz Colombia F Deputy Chief 3 Paul Spencer Antigua & Barbuda M Political Analyst 4 Tyler Finn USA M General Coordinator New Providence 5 Ginelle Bell Grenada F Observer 6 Alexander Gray Canada M Observer 7 Sheena Phillip St. Lucia F Observer 8 Laurent Spohr Switzerland M Observer 9 Errol Miller Jamaica M Observer Grand Bahama 10 Philippe-Olivier Giroux Canada M Observer Abaco 11 Rbecca Morency Canada F Observer North Andros 12 Maria Fernanda Sarmiento Argentina F Observer 43

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APPENDIX VI: PRESS RELEASES 44

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Nassau, May 3, 2012 45

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46

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47

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A PPENDIX VII: OFFICIAL RESULTS Votes % Bains Town & Grants Town PLP 2,856 57.56% 333 Bamboo Town Renward Wells PLP 1,940 39.18% 1,022 Carmichael Dr. Daniel Johnson PLP 2,157 45.23% 22 Centreville PLP 2,950 60.79% 302 Elizabeth Ryan Pinder PLP 2,049 46.87% 48

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13 Englerston PLP 2,962 61.63% Dr. Andre Rollins PLP 2,126 46.02% Fox Hill Frederick Mitchell PLP 2,448 56.02% Garden Hills Dr. Kendal VO Major PLP 2,181 48.34% 49

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Golden Gates PLP 2,831 58.71% Golden Isles PLP 2,220 48.11% Killarney Dr. Hubert Minnis FNM 2,434 52.94% Marathon Jerome Fitzgerald PLP 2,164 49.09% Montagu Richard Lightbourne FNM 2,227 46.88% 10 50

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Mount Moriah Arnold Forbes PLP 2,262 47.66% 2,013 Nassau Village PLP 2,308 49.19% 32 Pinewood Khaalis Rolle PLP 2,231 48.94% Saint Anne's Hubert Chipman FNM 2,348 54.14% Sea Breeze PLP 2,095 45.98% 21 51

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South Beach Cleola Hamilton PLP 2,029 45.60% Southern Shores PLP 2,080 47.90% Tall Pines Leslie Miller PLP 2,516 56.53% Yamacraw PLP 2,292 50.69% Central Grand Bahama Neko Grant FNM 2,505 48.15% 52

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East Grand Bahama Tanisha Tynes FNM 2,239 47.06% Marco City Gregory Moss PLP 2,528 49.26% 13 Pineridge Dr. Michael Darville PLP 2,635 56.83% West Grand Bahama & Bimini Obediah H. Wilchcombe PLP 2,877 55.42% 2,233 Central & South Abaco FNM 1,490 50.22% 53

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North Abaco Hubert Ingraham FNM 2,235 54.12% Mangrove Cay & South Andros Picewell Forbes PLP 794 38.98% North Andros & The Berry Islands Dr. Perry Gomez PLP 1,192 48.75% Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador Philip ‘Brave’ Davis PLP 778 52.57% Central & South Eleuthera Damian Gomez PLP 1,392 50.16% 54

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North Eleuthera FNM 1,787 50.77% The Exumas & Ragged Island Anthony Moss PLP 1,355 50.24% Long Island FNM 979 56.43% MICAL PLP 672 50.72% 3 55

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GENERAL ELECTIONS IN THE BAHAMAS MAY 7, 2012 Secretariat for Political Affairs Department for Electoral Cooperation and Observation Electoral Observation Missions (EOMs) Organization of American States (OAS) 17th Street & Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20006 USA EOM/OAS GENERAL ELECTIONS , BAHAMAS 2012 ELECTORAL OBSERVATION MISSION FINAL REPORT Organization of American States Organization of American States