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24 Things to Watch in 2024 – Part 2

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – In the first installment of this piece, we addressed 12 of the 24 events, developments and things on a national level in 2024. We highlight the next and final 12 of the 24 below.



By Arinthia Komolafe

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – In the first installment of this piece, we addressed 12 of the 24 events, developments and things on a national level in 2024. We highlight the next and final 12 of the 24 below.

13. National Development Plan (NDP)

During the last Christie-led administration, the foundation for a non-partisan roadmap for the development of The Bahamas was laid in the National Development Plan (NDP). Despite the widespread consultation with multiple stakeholders and Bahamians demanding the NDP, the current Davis-led administration appeared to have abandoned the Plan and leaned on its blueprint for change instead.

While this approach works from a political party perspective, the Bahamian taxpayers covered the cost for the preparation and work that went into the NDP. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Davis administration that is halfway into its term in office, to revive its own Party’s project and implement the NDP without further delay. They don’t have the luxury of shelving the NDP and have our investments go down the drain.

14. Nygard and Bahamian Politics

In 2023, Peter Nygard was convicted of sexual assault charges in Toronto, Canada. The disgraced fashion icon still faces multiple sexual assault charges in three other jurisdictions and is expected to be extradited to the U.S. for trial. It is alleged that eight of his nine Bahamian victims that lodged complaints were between the age of 14 and 18. This is troubling when considered against allegations of bribery of law enforcement officers and the involvement of politicians in The Bahamas.

It remains shocking that despite the allegations and the convict’s son asserting that most of the abuses occurred in The Bahamas, there have been no significant steps taken to ensure that the Bahamian victims get justice in The Bahamas. Rather, we saw the PM initially respond by saying that the predator was not only close to the PLP but had friends on both sides. More details are expected to unravel in 2024 during the trials.

15. The MP Trials

The court cases involving the MP for North Abaco, MP for Long Island and former MP for Seabreeze will attract much media attention in 2024. As the trials unfold, the nation will be watching to see whether by-elections will be triggered and the impact of the verdicts on the PLP and FNM.

16. The Petty Files

In 2023, the MP for North Eleuthera was forced to resign as Executive Chairman of the Water Sewerage Corporation (WSC) over the awarding of a contract to his daughter. This was only one of several serious allegations levied against the MP. There remains a need for a detailed investigation into the actions of the former Chairman and the other serious allegations must not be swept under the carpet. The Board of the WSC should also give account of its stewardship. 2024 will show whether the PLP administration is really serious about transparency and accountability.

17. The Free National Movement (FNM)

2024 is a significant year for the Official Opposition Party. There is no doubt that the FNM is a formidable and legitimate opponent of the governing PLP but it must first address its internal issues. At some point this year, it is anticipated that the FNM will hold a convention before commencing its campaign for 2026 in earnest. There are speculations that a leadership challenge will take place at that convention; this is part of the democratic process. Once the Party comes out of convention, the expectation is that all FNMs will rally around the elected leader and the full machinery of the Party will be activated. 2024 is arguably a make or break year for the FNM.

18. Fallout from the PLP Convention

The PLP Convention in 2023 exposed some deep rooted issues and weaknesses in the armor of the governing party. It was clear that factions had emerged in the PLP and the battle lines had been drawn between the supporters and non-supporters of the PLP Leader. The 43 percent of PLP delegates that voted against the Leader’s choice for Chairman were forced to accept the results but it is unclear where their allegiance lies. While the election results are good for democracy in the PLP, they also revealed a direct challenge to the Party’s leadership at a time when the focus should have been on the by-election. 2024 will reveal the fallout, purge or consequences due to the 2023 uprising.

19. By-election Promises

The PLP held serve to win the Grand Bahama and Bimini by-election convincingly. The full machinery of the Party and the weight of the Public Treasury were brought to bear during the campaign for a seat regarded as a PLP stronghold. The time has now come for the PLP to deliver on all the promises made to the constituents during the by-election campaign. The promises of millions in home and roof repairs, building of RBDF base, new airport, new schools, new dock and fishing village, new police station, new roads and free Wi-Fi just to mention a few, must now be fulfilled. The PLP administration has hopefully not written a cheque that cannot be cashed.

20. Sporting Events

2024 is a major year for Bahamians in general and sport enthusiasts in particular. There have been much public discourse about the state of our sporting facilities and the lack of a proper maintenance culture. The Thomas A. Robinson Stadium is currently being renovated ahead of the return of the 2024 World Athletics Relays to The Bahamas in May. The timing, cost and funding of these renovations remain topics of contention. Nevertheless, we look forward to the CARIFTA games, World Athletics Relays and Summer Olympics among others. We wish all our athletes a successful 2024.

21. U.S. Presidential Election

It is often said that when the U.S. sneezes, The Bahamas catches the cold. The U.S. remains our greatest ally and partner with a huge majority of our tourists coming from the largest economy in the world. This is why Bahamians will be closely watching the upcoming U.S. elections in general and U.S. Presidential elections in particular. The outcome of the 2024 elections will have some policy implications with potential impact on geopolitics, international trade and global markets.

22. Geopolitics

We must continue to keep an eye on the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine as well as Israel and Hamas. At the same time, we remain hopeful that the relationship between China and Taiwan will not worsen or deteriorate in 2024. Closer to home, 2024 will show whether the intervention of CARICOM and ongoing discussions on the land dispute between Guyana and Venezuela will come to a peaceful resolution. The Haitian crisis also remains a pressing matter for the region.

23. Climate Change

COP28 was a stark reminder that the discourse on climate change is complicated by the realities of a world that remains predominantly reliant on fossil fuels. The Bahamas’ Prime Minister has chosen to make climate change the top priority of his administration despite other more serious and pressing issues impacting the average Bahamian on a daily basis.

Nevertheless, in 2024, Prime Minister Davis would do well to bring the crusade back home to The Bahamas. If the Davis led administration is truly serious about climate change, its actions should be seen in targeted policies, zoning, building codes, shelters, reduced use of fossil fuels, green travelling habits and the maintenance of a healthy disaster relief fund.

An update on the progress made in the implementation of recommendations in reports issued after previous storms would also speak volumes. Anything to the contrary, is nothing more than posturing and public relation exercises by senior government officials traveling on fossil fuel-powered aircrafts, adding to carbon emissions with no visible returns.

24. The Davis Cabinet after Reset

The proroguing of the House of Assembly and shuffling of the Cabinet at a time that the government was facing challenges and controversies in 2023 was described as an opportunity to reset. Beyond the public relations and talking points, all eyes will be on the Cabinet Ministers and how effective they are in their new roles. Catchphrases will no longer be acceptable and the Bahamian people will demand results from one of the largest Cabinets in our history paid by taxpayers.