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Bahamas Opposition Scores Sweeping Win 0ver Ruling Party

Supporters celebrate the general election victory of Hubert Minnis of Free National Movement, May 10, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas.

A new prime minister of the Bahamas was to be sworn in Thursday after the opposition won a sweeping victory over the ruling party in the island chain.

Hubert Minnis of the Free National Movement would lead the country with 34 of the 39 seats in the House of Assembly, according to unofficial returns from the election a day earlier. Prime Minister Perry Christie of the Progressive Liberal Party conceded defeat as results were still being tabulated and certified from the far-flung islands that make up the country of nearly 400,000 people.

"My colleagues and I in the Free National Movement have been given the solemn responsibility to form the next government of the Bahamas," Minnis told jubilant supporters at a victory rally. "We have been given a mandate for change."

Christie and his Progressive Liberal Party have been in power since 2012. The party struggled with public anger over rising crime, a sluggish economy and allegations of corruption involving the construction of a new mega resort on the most populated island of New Providence.