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The Right Honourable
 Hubert Ingraham


Incumbent
Assumed office 
4 May 2007
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Arthur Dion Hanna
Deputy Brent Symonette
Preceded by Perry Christie
In office
21 August 1992 – 3 May 2002
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Clifford Darling
Orville Turnquest
Ivy Dumont
Preceded by Lynden Pindling
Succeeded by Perry Christie

Born 4 August 1947 (1947-08-04) (age 62)
Pine Ridge, Grand Bahama, Bahamas
Political party Free National Movement
Spouse(s) Delores Miller

Hubert Alexander Ingraham (born 1947) is the Prime Minister of the Bahamas. He served from 1992 until 2002 and became Prime Minister again in 2007. He is a member of the Free National Movement Party (FNM). The Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham now heads the FNM as Party Leader and is a Member of Parliament for the North Abaco constituency; he also served as Leader of the Opposition in the House of Assembly from 2005 to 2007.

Ingraham served as Prime Minister of The Bahamas from August 1992 until May 2002. In the historic election of August 1992 when the FNM unseated the Progressive Liberal Party, Ingraham succeeded the late Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling, who had headed the PLP government since January 1967. Following his party's victory in the May 2007 election, he became Prime Minister again.

Contents

Youth and early career

Ingraham was born 4 August 1947 in Pine Ridge, Grand Bahama. He is the son of Jerome Ingraham (from Turkey) and Isabella La-Roda (née Cornish). He grew up in Cooper's Town on the island of Abaco and began his education at Cooper's Town Public School, later attending the Southern Senior School and the Government High School Evening Institute in Nassau.

Ingraham studied law in Nassau, was called to the Bahamas Bar in December 1972, after he quited his job as a fireman, and eventually became senior partner in the law firm of Christie, Ingraham and Co. He entered front-line politics in 1975, when he was elected to the National General Council of the then ruling Progressive Liberal Party. He had previously served as a member of the Air Transport Licensing Authority and Chairman of the Real Property Tax Tribunal.

Following brief periods of employment in the accounting departments of Owens-Illinois Sugar Mill Company in Abaco, The Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation and the Chase Manhattan Bank in Nassau, Ingraham became an articled law clerk in the Chambers of McKinney Bancroft and Hughes.

Cabinet Minister

In 1976, Ingraham was elected National Chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and a member of that party's National Executive Committee. In 1977, still Chairman of the PLP, he was elected to the House of Assembly.

In Parliament, Ingraham served as a member of the Standing Committee on Privilege and Public Accounts, and as Chairman of an investigative Select Committee on Influence Peddling and Political Contributions.

He was re-elected to Parliament in the general election of June 1982, and appointed Minister of Housing, National Insurance and Social Service. In 1982, he also became Chairman of The Bahamas Mortgage Corporation, an institution established to secure and guarantee housing financing for Bahamians in need of that service.

In Opposition

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Independent Member of Parliament

Ingraham stood as an independent candidate in the 1987 general election and was one of only two Members of Parliament to have been expelled from the ruling PLP to have gone on to immediate re-election as an independent.

Leader of the Oppostion

Ingraham joined the Official Opposition in April 1990, and was immediately appointed Parliamentary Leader. When the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield, died in May 1990, Ingraham was unanimously elected Leader of the Free National Movement and was appointed Leader of the Official Opposition on 18 May 1990, by the Governor-General.

In June 1990, as freshman Leader of The Free National Movement, he led his party to a Marco City, Grand Bahama by-election victory over the governing party.

On 19 August 1992, Ingraham led the Free National Movement to a stunning 32-17 victory over the Progressive Liberal Party and ended the 25- year hold on power of former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling.

Prime Minister

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham at the White House.

The new Prime Minister had Cabinet responsibility for the Ministry of Finance. Later, in a streamlined Cabinet, he took on responsibility for trade and industry, and quickly established a one-stop Investment Authority that promoted fresh investment in The Bahamas.

In July 1993, Prime Minister Ingraham was made a Member of Her Majesty's most honourable Privy Council. Again on 14 March 1997, Ingraham led the FNM to an even greater election victory.

Prime Minister Ingraham, known for his aggressive leadership style as well as for micro-management, was not afraid to deal with issues directly as well as shuffle Cabinet members, as he saw change was necessary to bring fresh outlooks and perspectives to the Ministries.

Ingraham's having pledged earlier that he would serve no longer than two terms or 10 years as Head of Government, the FNM in 2001 held special elections for Leader-Designate and Deputy Leader-Designate of the Party, with Sen. Tommy Turnquest emerging as the victor who would assume leadership of the FNM on the night of the next general elections.

Administrative Achievements

He is credited for allowing the Atlantis Paradise Island project to develop, making the Bahamas truly a major tourism Mecca.

He administered a disengagement of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company in the mid-1990s, severing ties with hundreds of BTC employees, although handing out severance packages for those who opted for the exit packages. The true value of the impact of the disengagement is debatable.

Through his first term, he guided the Bahamas through a tumultuous period in the financial services sector, which ushered in sweeping changes to be made and imposed upon the Bahamas by international organizations such as the OECD and the FATF. Sweeping legislation, was seen as necessary by the then administration, but such drastic and immediate measures, were up to debate by observers and economists of the time. Subsequently, the market fears spread and resulted in massive job losses in the sector.

By the end of his first term, he was sitting on a Bahamian economy, which was going into recession, brought on by a global downturn in productivity, sparked by the dot.com bubble bust and the attacks of 9-11- exacerbated by massive exits of foreign capital, due to new banking regulations set in place by his administration.

In addition to cries of the mis-handling controversial financial services reform, which some said was indicative of his leadership style of force fed policies. Another controversial issue proposed by his administration, was the now failed referendum on social policy, which many observers now say led to the resounding defeat at the polls for the FNM in 2002, with a 29-7 overwhelming margin of victory for the incoming Progressive Liberal Party.

The then Prime Minister Ingraham was quoted as saying: "whoever wins the referendum, will win the election."

Return to the Opposition

In the 2002 general elections, Ingraham stepped aside and allowed a younger and more vibrant leader, The Hon O.A.T. ("Tommy") Turnquest, to be party leader for the general election.

Ingraham retained his North Abaco seat, even though his party suffered a resounding defeat at the polls, with his leader designate and deputy designate not winning their seats in parliament. Ingraham did not act as leader of the opposition or leader of house business until his notification of his wanting to return as party leader for the upcoming 2007 general elections.

During the Party's November 2005 convention, he was again elected FNM Leader, amongst harsh criticisms for the lack of due process in his ability, through the FNM party's platform, to make himself eligible for party nomination. This, was also seen as a repudiation of his former position, where he claimed to only wanting to serve two terms as Prime Minister.

Nonetheless, he was returned to party leadership.

At the time Ingraham said that it boiled down to a matter of trust. "The country needs and deserves reform no matter what, because the loss of trust in government has been so great." And he maintained that the FNM had developed an agenda to renew the people's trust in government.

He says national leadership by the Free National Movement will once again bring the interests of Bahamians into focus and to the forefront of government's social and economic policies, remove influence peddling from the halls of government, restore integrity and honesty to public life, and reintroduce initiatives to achieve efficient and effective government left in abeyance during the last four and a half years.

Prime Minister again

In the General Election held on 2 May 2007, the FNM won a majority of seats, defeating the PLP, and Ingraham was sworn in as Prime Minister on 4 May.[1] He also became Minister of Finance in the new government.[2]

The Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham is married to the former Delores Miller of Long Island, and they have five children.

References

  1. ^ "Hubert Ingraham sworn in as Bahamas’ PM", radiojamaica.com, May 4, 2007.
  2. ^ Juan McCartney, "Ministers Sworn In", The Bahama Journal, May 8, 2007.

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