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Regional leaders congratulate new Bahamas PM

Published:Thursday | May 10, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders have been extending their congratulations to new Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie, following his resounding victory in the general election on Monday.

Unofficial preliminary results show that Christie's Progressive Liberal Party won 29 out of the 38 seats contested in Monday's general election, reversing the defeat it suffered in 2009 at the hands of the Free National Movement (FNM).

FNM leader Hubert Ingraham has since announced his resignation from politics and parliament.

Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said he was looking forward to working again with Christie on developing the region.

"There are a lot of things to be done in The Bahamas and CARICOM which require the concerted efforts and commitment of all concerned and I look forward to working with Honourable Perry Christie.

"I have no doubt that he will bring a renewed vigour to CARICOM, his commitment to CARICOM. He is coming at a time when the world, the whole of CARICOM is going through some real challenging economic and financial challenges and The Bahamas is certainly not excluded from that.

"So he has his work cut out for him so far as addressing his own country's challenges, but also assisting CARICOM in charting the way forward and to ensure that we continue to bring hope to our people," Skerrit said.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer in congratulating Christie on his "resounding victory at the polls" said Bahamians "have awarded you a renewed mandate to advance the economic and social aspirations of the country.

"As we continue to work both bilaterally and within the framework provided by CARICOM, I pledge that the relationship between our two countries will only progress from strength to strength," Spencer said, noting that he and Christie, 69, have "collaborated in the past in the halls of CARICOM" when Christie was first elected prime minister of the Bahamas in 2002.