Bahamas Voters Oust Government After 16% Drop in Economic Output

Voters in the Bahamas ousted Prime Minister Hubert Minnis in a snap election on Thursday as the economy struggles to recover from its deepest crash since at least 1971. 

Minnis conceded and congratulated his rival Philip Brave Davis, according to a resignation letter published in local newspaper the Nassau Guardian. In his victory speech, Davis said the population is “yearning for renewal.” 

The Caribbean island of roughly 400,000 people was still recovering from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Dorian in 2019 when it saw its vital tourism industry hammered by Covid-19. Amid lockdowns and curfews, the economy shrank 16% in 2020, one of the world’s deepest slumps, and is only expected to recover about 2% this year. 

Davis, an attorney and the leader of the Progressive Liberal Party, has blamed what he says was the administration’s overreaction to the pandemic, making it responsible for the economic crash. Despite no major ideological divide separating Minnis’ Free National Movement from Davis’ PLP, the winner’s party is promising to cut taxes, and slash public waste.