NASSAU, Bahamas – Bahamians go to the polls on May 10 to elect a new government in a general election that Prime Minister Perry Christie said he is confident would be “free, fair and peaceful”.

In a broadcast soon after Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade read proclamations from Governor General Marguerite Pindling, dissolving Parliament, Prime Minister Christie said voters will now have the opportunity of deciding on which political party will conduct the affairs of this Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country for the next five years.

The new Parliament will be convened on May 24.

NASSAU, Bahamas – Prime Minister Perry Christie is promising a “sprint to the finish line,” as Bahamians await the date for the general election.

Prime Minister Christie, who leads his ruling Progressive Liberal party (PLP) into the polls, is expected to announce the election date on Tuesday after he advises the head of state to dissolve the Parliament paving the way for the vote.

Voters have up until 5.00 pm (local time) Monday to register for the election.

The PLP, which comfortably won the last general election in 2012 will face a challenge from the main opposition Free National Movement (FNM) and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) for control of the 41-seat Parliament.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The office of Haiti’s president is using strong language to criticize people who threw rocks at his motorcade, calling them “extremists” who must be brought to justice.

President Jovenel Moise’s motorcade was targeted Friday by a group of people hurling stones in Arcahaie, a coastal town north of Haiti’s capital. There have been no reports of any injuries.

Moise’s office said late Saturday in a statement that the incident endangered his life and constituted “a serious threat to the public peace and security of the state.”

It added that the rock-throwers have not been identified.

MANDEVILLE, Jamaica – The Manchester police yesterday arrested a female university student from the parish in connection with the recent kidnapping of two businessmen.

The 25-year-old woman will be questioned over the weekend in the presence of her lawyer.

According to Superintendent Wayne Cameron, the woman will be charged for conspiracy to the offence of kidnapping. He also revealed that a man who was arrested and charged, having been caught on location collecting the ransom, was remanded when he appeared before the Manchester Parish Court on Thursday.

On Thursday March 23, two businessmen were kidnapped by gunmen, tied up and left in a house before being moved to bushes. The wife of one of the businessmen was contacted, told to withdraw one million dollars and to leave it at a particular location in the town.

CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles on Friday was banned from holding political office for 15 years, a move that could galvanize protests against the leftist government and upend a presidential election in 2018.

Capriles, a two-time presidential candidate and current governor of Miranda state, was seen as the opposition’s best hope to defeat President Nicolas Maduro.

The national comptroller banned him from office due to “administrative irregularities” including breaking contracting laws and improper management of donations from the British and Polish embassies, according to a copy of the ban.

The punishment deals a blow to the opposition after stepped-up protests this week and accusations that Maduro, the unpopular handpicked successor of the late Hugo Chavez, was leading the country to dictatorship and cracking down on dissent.

Capriles responded to the measure in a defiant speech to emotive supporters at a small Caracas sports arena, describing the measure as a desperate gambit of a decaying dictatorship.

“You can shove your disqualification where the sun doesn’t shine,” said Capriles, flanked by opposition leaders. “This is not one person’s struggle, this is not Capriles’ struggle. This is the Venezuelan people’s struggle.”

The decision would also likely fuel anger ahead of an opposition protest planned for Saturday after a string of violent marches, spurred by the Supreme Court assuming control of congress last week before an outcry forced it to retreat.

A young man died in violence around protests on Thursday.

Over the last few days, authorities have accused Capriles of fomenting violence and bloodshed by leading increasingly intense protests against Maduro.

Capriles’ punishment falls under a comptroller’s office measure known as “disqualification” that blocks politicians from holding office if they are deemed to have committed “irregularities” in managing state resources.

The comptroller’s office notification to Capriles said he had 15 working days to appeal the decision at that office or 180 days to ask for its annulment at the top court. Both are pro-government and unlikely to overturn the decision.

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