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Five elections were contested across the Caribbean region in 2017, resulting in losses to incumbent government in some cases.  In both Bermuda and the Bahamas, the decision of the respective Heads of Government to call elections saw an end to their administrations.  Elections in the Duth territories of Aruba and Curaçao also resulted in changes of government. In the Cayman Islands, the ruling  People's Progressive Movement retained office as part of a coalition government with the former opposition Cayman Democratic Party. Rounding out the year was the Nevis Island Assembly Election won by the incumbent Concerned Citizens Movement.

Here is a recap of the 2017 election year.

Curaçao General Election – 28 April 2017
Early general elections were held in Curaçao on 28 April 2017 after the fall of the government led by Hensley Koeiman. The previous general elections in 2016 resulted in the formation of a four-party coalition government consisting of Partido MAN (MAN), the Real Alternative Party (PAR), the National People's Party (PNP) and Sovereign People (PS), headed by Hensley Koeiman of MAN. However, the PS withdrew from the coalition on 11 February 2017, causing it to lose its majority. Prime Minister Koeiman subsequently submitted his resignation to the governor. On 24 March 2017 Gilmar Pisas was sworn in as interim Prime Minister. The election resulted in PAR winning the highest number of seats (6 of 21). Its leader Eugene Rhuggenaath was tasked to form a new coalition government by Governor Lucille George-Wout with his Party, Partido MAN and Partido Inovashon Nashonal. Rhuggenaath was sworn in as Prime Minister on 29 May 2017.
New Curaçao Cabinet of Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath 
Learn more about the 2017 Curaçao General Election »
The Bahamas General Election – 10 May 2017

General elections were held in the Bahamas on 10 May 2017. The result was a victory for the opposition Free National Movementled (FNM) by Hubert Minnis, which defeated the ruling Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) led by Prime Minister Perry Christie. It was an historic defeat and it gave the FNM the largest victory at the polls ever recorded for The Bahamas, taking 35 of the 39 seats. Nearly all all of the PLP Cabinet ministers and senior members lost their parliamentary seats. Former Deputy Prime Minister in the Progressive Liberal Party Government, the Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis was later appointed Leader of the Opposition. 

Dr. Hubert Minnis being sworn in as the fourth Prime Minister of the Bahamas by
Governor-General Dame Margurite Pindling
Learn more about the 2017 Bahamas General Election »
Cayman Islands General Election – 24 May 2017

General elections were held in the Cayman Islands on 24 May 2017. They were the first elections held after electoral reforms approved in a 2012 referendum, which introduced single member constituencies. The People's Progressive Movement (PPM) remained the largest party, winning seven of the 19 seats. However, independents emerged as the largest group in the Legislative Assembly with nine seats.  A coalition government between the Progressive the Cayman Democratic Party (CDP) members, and independents was formed with PPM leader Alden McLaughlin remaining as Premier and CDP leader, McKeeva Bush, bcoming Speaker.

CDP leader and Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush (left) with Premier Alden McLaughlin
after being sworn into office on 31 May 2017
Learn more about the 2017 Cayman Islands General Election »
Bermuda General Election – 18 July 2017

General elections were held in Bermuda on 18 July 2017 to elect all 36 members to the House of Assembly. The result was a victory for the opposition David Burt  led Progressive Labour Party (PLP), which won 24 of the 36 seats. The One Bermuda Alliance  (OBA) led by Premier Michael Dunkley won the remaining 12 seats. Dunkley subsequently resigned as leader of the OBA. Burt was sworn in as Premier of Bermuda on 19 July 2017.

David Burt being sworn in as Premier of Bermuda
Learn more about the 2017 Bermuda General Election »
Aruba General Election – 22 September 2017

General elections were held in Aruba on 22 September 2017. The results of the election was both the Aruban People's Party (AVP) of Mike Eman and the People's Electoral Movement (MEP) of Evelyn Wever-Croes winning nine seats. The new Pueblo Orguyoso y Respeta (POR), led by Otmar Oduber won two seats, and the Network of Electoral Democracy (RED), led by Ricardo Croes, won one seat.  Wever-Croes subsequently managed to form a coalition government under her leadership with the Pueblo Orguyoso y Respeta (POR) and Network of Electoral Democracy (RED), the first Aruban coalition government in 16 years, and the first Aruban government headed by a woman. Wever-Croes's cabinet was sworn in by Governor Alfonso Boekhoudt on 17 November 2017.

Aruba’s new MEP/POR/RED coalition government
Learn more about the 2017 Aruba General Election »

Nevis Island Assembly Election – 18 December 2017

Deputy Premier Mark Brantley led his Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) to victory in Monday’s Nevis Island Administration (NIA) elections on 18 December 2017. he CCM, which is a partner in the coalition Team Unity government of Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris, won four of the five seats that were at stake in the polls. The other seat was won by former premier Joseph Parry of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP). Brantley was sworn in as Premier of Nevis on 19 December 2017.

Mark Brantley being sworn in as Premier of Nevis on 19 December 2017.
Towards 2018

Notwithstanding the possibility of snap elections, there are six constitutionally due elections in 2017.

Country Head of Government Term Last Election Next Election

Barbados

Prime Minister Freundel STUART

5 years

21 Feb 2013

May 2018

Cuba

President Raul CASTRO RUZ

5 years

03 Feb 2013

Feb 2018

Grenada

Prime Minister Keith MITCHELL

5 years

19 Feb 2013

Feb 2018

United States Virgin Islands

Governor Kenneth MAPP

4 years

04 Nov 2014

Nov 2018

In Memoriam 2017
In memoriam 2015

A reflection on the lives of those Caribbean leaders we've lost in 2017.

View our In Memoriam 2017 feature »

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