The constituents of North Abaco will elect a new Member of Parliament in the upcoming by-election. The Right Honourable Hubert A. Ingraham has held onto the North Abaco Constituency since 1977, being returned each year and representing both the Progressive Liberal Party in his first years and the Free National Movement most recently. He also won as an independent in 1987. This 2012 by-election will mark the first time in nearly thirty five years that voters will elect a new Member of Parliament to represent them. The voters will have a choice of four candidates.
The four candidates contesting the seat are: Greg Gomez for the FNM, Renardo Curry for the PLP, Cay Mills running as an independent, and S. Ali McIntosh representing the Bahamas Constitution Party of which she is also the leader.
Mr. Curry, Mr. Mills and Ms. McIntosh have all contested the seat in the past. Most recently, Mr. Curry represented the PLP in the May 7 General Election and lost with around 45% of the vote. Neither Mr. Mills nor Ms. McIntosh contested the seat during May 7 and the other third party candidate who did, the Democratic National Alliance’s Sonith Lockheart, is not running in the by-election.
With four candidates running and the historic precedent of reduced voter turnout in by-elections, a clear outcome in North Abaco is not certain. Since 1992 North Abaco has consistently voted FNM and, in particular, voted for the former FNM party leader, Mr. Ingraham. All four candidates are gearing up for a potentially brief, but important, round of campaigning in hopes to fill the political vacuum that will be left by the former Prime Minister upon his impending, official retirement.