WANING SUPPORT: DNA captures just over 1% of electorate; down from 9% when it first emerged

WANING SUPPORT: DNA captures just over 1% of electorate; down from 9% when it first emerged
Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Leader Arinthia Komolafe (center) and party members at Potter’s Cay Dock on Monday, April 19, 2021. (PHOTO: DNA)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — After bursting on the election scene and garnering nearly nine percent of the electorate’s vote in 2012, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) for the second consecutive electoral cycle again experienced fleeting support.

Despite the party’s new leadership, around just one percent of the electorate voted green.

The DNA yet again failed to capture a single seat.

Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Leader Arinthia Komolafe (center) on Nomination Day, Friday, August 27, 2021.

The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), led by Philip Brave Davis, swept the general election on September 16, capturing 32 of the 39 seats.

The Free National Movement (FNM) held onto seven.

Of the 194,524 people who registered to vote, just over 126,000 people cast their ballots — around 65 percent voter turnout and the lowest in decades.

But the DNA also lost support when compared to the 2017 general election.

Last Thursday, the DNA got 1,742 votes (1.3 percent) in 22 seats.

In 2017, the DNA got 7,537 votes (4.7 percent) in the 39 constituencies.

In 2012, the DNA picked up more than 13,000 votes (8.5 percent) in 13 constituencies.

DNA members and supporters demonstrate on March 3, 2021.

After the DNA held a demonstration in front of Parliament on March 3 and saw its leader and 10 other members detained for questioning later that month, the spotlight was on the party as it made a strong case against the Minnis administration’s alleged abuse of power.

Four months later, the DNA again came under the spotlight as one of its members — the candidate for Garden Hills, Boykin Smith — alleged there was an altercation involving himself and party executives, including Komolafe — a claim she denied.

Shortly after then Prime Minister Dr Hubert conceded the election, Komolafe said the Bahamian people spoke loud and clear.

In a statement, she congratulated Davis and all the candidates who vied for seats in the election, including those of the DNA.

“Our democracy is deepened when we have smooth transition of power from one administration to another,” she said in a statement.

“I am proud to be a part of a nation that values and guards its democracy.

“The general elections are now over and the task of unifying the nation must commence in earnest.

“We must all work together to build a better Bahamas for our children and children’s children…”


DNA history

The party was formed in 2011

Branville McCartney.

Its former leader, Branville McCartney, who won the Bamboo Town seat under the last Ingraham administration in 2007 as part of the FNM, has been the only member to represent the DNA in Parliament.

Following the post-mortem of the 2017 election, then DNA Leader Branville McCartney said he accepted full responsibility for the party’s loss.

An assessment on why the party failed in the 2017 election was done, but it was not made public.

In the lead-up to the 2021 election, Minnis said a vote for the DNA or any other third party was a vote that would see the PLP returned to office.

Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham made a similar statement in the lead-up to the 2017 general election, where he took to the election stage to aid the FNM’s win.

While he said the party would fail to secure a seat, he acknowledged that the influence of the DNA contributed to the FNM’s loss in 2012.


DNA candidate results

Arinthia Komolafe and Boykin Smith.

At the polls last Thursday, Kino Lockheart got 64 votes in Bain and Grants Town; Omar Smith got 55 votes in Bamboo Town; DNA Leader Arinithia Komolafe received 210 votes in Carmichael; Frederick Sawyer got 64 votes in Centreville; Hillary Deveaux picked up 66 votes in Elizabeth; Zhavargo Black picked up 57 votes in Englerston; Ricardo Forbes got 103 votes in Fox Hill; and Derek Smith received 41 votes in Garden Hills.

Boykin Smith, who ran as an independent after the fallout with the party, received 44 votes — three more than the DNA’s candidate in Garden Hills.

Meanwhile, Lamont Nixon secured 85 votes in Golden Gates, the fourth largest share of the seats; with the winner, the PLP’s Pia Glover-Rolle, and the runner-up, FNM incumbent Michael Foulkes, receiving 1,872 votes and 1,177 votes respectively.

Antoine Ferguson picked up 123 votes in Golden Isles; Kendal Lewis got 323 votes in Killarney; Zaccheuss Glass received just 20 votes in Marathon; Stephon Forbes received just 11 votes in Marco City; Dr Carnille Farquharson picked up 115 votes in Mount Moriah; Zerlene Ferguson got 46 votes in Nassau Village; Steven Nesbitt took 53 votes in Pinewood; Luisa Jorrin Rolle got 65 votes in St Anne’s; Sherene Gibson Harris got 33 votes in Seabreeze; Jermaine Higgs received 86 votes in South Beach; Teddy Russell got just 14 votes in St Barnabas; Theophilus Coakley picked up 82 votes in Tall Pines; and Mario Mott secured 26 votes in West Grand Bahama and Bimini.

About Royston Jones Jr.

Royston Jones Jr. is a senior digital reporter and occasional TV news anchor at Eyewitness News. Since joining Eyewitness News as a digital reporter in 2018, he has done both digital and broadcast reporting, notably providing the electoral analysis for Eyewitness News’ inaugural election night coverage, “Decision Now 2021”.